Yesterday marked the passing of Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island Tortoise. Ashoka Support Network member and Founder of Lonesome George & Co, Eduardo Balarezo, shares the message of changemaking that Lonesome George inspired:
“When I first met Lonesome George I was captivated by his presence and immediately felt the need to take action in the surrounding Galapagos community and the world at large. His message to me was not to find him a mate but to make sure that what happened to him doesn’t happen again in the future. He became the inspiration behind our mission to create Agents of Change who can actively prevent unconscious human behavior that negatively impacts the world while promoting mindful community action. There aren’t enough words to describe how much Lonesome George will be missed and our deep love for him is a constant reminder that we must take responsibility as a human race for the effect we can have on the world. In him, we saw a wrong that we caused by neglecting the importance of nature and we so badly wanted to make it right.
The countless efforts and worldwide connection that Lonesome George brought from all over is a reminder that we as human beings are capable of great empathy and compassion. So many people gave their time and energy to helping him, praying for him, and sharing his story. It proved that we do have the power to make things right in the future. In his honor, we must move forward together and keep his legacy alive with the work we do in our own lives. We cannot wait for a creature to be the last of their kind to become aware, step up, make better decisions and take action to create change.”