"So we find ourselves on the brink. It’s clear humans have had a devastating impact on our planet’s ecological web of life." -Leonard DiCaprio, The 11th Hour
So she's not exactly a 'green' celebrity, but she's still making a difference. Singer and songwriter India Arie is known for her captivating, thought provoking lyrics and haunting melodies. But she's more than a voice, more than a stage persona. She's using her power as a celebrity to do two very different things: empower women to love themselves as they are and, more recently, helping to turn the world's attention to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. And together they sum up what India stands for.
She's considered one of the world's most beautiful people. Her films have made you laugh (Wedding Crashers) and sob so hard you ran out of tissues (The Notebook). But I bet you didn't know that in addition to being a magazine cover girl, a leading lady and a red carpet goddess, she's also an environmentalist. Better yet, her love for nature and the environment isn't just an excuse to get press or a pet project to help her get tax breaks. She's been environmentally conscious since she was a kid, and to this day she does everything she can to lighten her footprint on the world (and even dreams of living in a tree house and growing her own food).
The pages of the weekly magazines would lead you to believe that all celebs live a life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. But that's truly not the only scenario. Some use their stature (and money) to help a cause. And what bigger cause can there be than trying to save the earth? Woody Harrelson has done a lot with his name. He's gone on 'tour' promoting simple organic living, he's published a book (How To Go Further) and he even has his own eco-driven website that he started with his wife, Laura.
His website contains a poem by Woody called Thoughts From Within. Combined with compelling images, he reads his poem on his website. I've known about this video for a few years now, and it's something that just gets better each time I watch it. His distinctive voice speaks words that are so powerful, and so true, that you can't help but sit up and take notice. He says aloud what some of us are thinking, but what most of the world chooses to ignore.
I don't want to ruin the experience by quoting the whole poem here. But just to give you a taste to encourage you to see the entire thing for yourself, here's one of my favorite stanzas:
A billion people sitting watching their TV
in the room that they call living
but as for me
I see living as loving
and since there is no loving room
I sit on the grass under a tree
dreaming of the way things used to be
which of course is before the rivers and oceans, and skies were polluted.
-from Thoughts From Within, Woody Harrelson
Woody makes me smile, because for every person that he talks to, every life that he changes, that's one more person working towards environmental activism. In his book he says that the only right answer to changing the world is to change who you are and what you do. Create your own self-evolution simply by emailing the link to Woody's poem to your friends. Encourage them to send it on as well. Create a viral revolution.