Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 4 14:39:04 EDT 2008

Dear coral-listers, 
Following on the conversation about awareness and action on coral reefs and ocean life, here is my suggestion.
Can one idea change the world? Yes!
Inspired by the movie “Pay It Forward” here is what you can do.
Change the life of three people. Nature heals all wounds, so you will change the life of three people by taking them by the hand and immerse them in Nature. Snorkel, scuba diving, a walk on the beach... Find a way, depending on your experience, or on their interests. There is always a way to connect. Not just one day, but several times.  Along the way, inject them with the awareness/action virus. Open their hearts and their minds to what is at risk, the coral reefs, the ocean, Earth’s life support system as we know it. Spend time with them. Listen to what they have to say. Work together on the actions they can take. Practice together those life changing actions. As they experience this change, each person should change the life of another three people. And so on. 
Choose the recipients of your efforts wisely. At least one of them should be a person with connections. How about spending time underwater with the dean of your school? Or the major of your city? Everyone was a child once, probably in awe with Nature. Connect with the inner child.
Let’s make some assumptions. Life changing habits take about 2 weeks of full dedication to set in. If one individual in this list initiates the exponential change, and the chain reaction goes continuously, it will take about 3 years to reach half of the world population. But there is already a motivated and educated critical mass in this list to initiate the change. Imagine what we’ll be able to report at next ICRS. 
We will still need the campaigns, films, you tubes, news etc showcasing clear and precise messages to generate awareness and action. But this will be preparing the soil. You still need to plant the seed and help it to grow. I know it’s hard, we are all busy, etc. But this time, we are not going to say what cannot be done. We are going to achieve the impossible. 
I already started the “Pay It Forward”. Join me. Together we can change the world. 

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. 
Marine Conservation Biologist

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