I got to have lunch with a friend of mine this week, who I follow pretty closely, but due to our busy schedules, I rarely actually get to sit down with. As he and I shared our passions, pains, frustrations, joys and aspirations over a light meal at our favorite Taqueria, I told him how inspired I was by¬† his knowledge and persistence in the living of his life and what to me is one of the strongest examples of selflessness I have experienced in my Community.
Paul thanked me, and to my surprise told me that I was one of the few people who seemed to always take notice. “How could anyone not?” was my thought, as I crunched on a tortilla chip and home made salsa, brought to our table by Lily, who with her husband Juan owns and runs the homey place many of us like to frequent.
Paul Jenkin is the champion of water in our Community of Ventura. An expert on watersheds, he and I have a few mutual friends whose dedication to making the world a cleaner, more sensible place, actually created a very large Environmental group which continued on after their passage. If I ever do not understand the implications of a solution to an environmental or community problem, Paul is someone who I turn to for enlightenment.
He dedicates his life to his wife and son and all of us here in the broad world.¬† I have watched and endeavored to help in anything Paul sets his hand to. I know without reservation that in so doing, I will have done the right thing. Because Paul, on top of being educated, informed and passionate, is the most consistent person I know. He is as tenacious as the dawn which pushes back the night. One of those bright lights who quietly and persistently separates bullshit from the flowers, and plucking the solution like a sole rose, will hold it up, and make sure everyone sees it.
Of course that does not make him too popular with folks whose business is hiding beneath careers built upon layers of fertilizer. But Paul quietly and respectfully persists. Here is his latest blog entry. You should read it. Everybody needs to know Paul. He not only develops answers, but correct solutions. Big difference from the inauthentic and insincere plying of influence one sees in the Environmental movement designed to manipulate a result that is motivated on branding for influence and money.
In looking around at who I have in my life, I have recently come to the realization that every single one of them is a hero to me. Soldiers in the war of life that are willing to not just get dirty in the trenches, but do so willingly and consistently, so that the next generation has a better legacy. People who will not just stand and fight and take a bullet, but are smart enough to take out the one who is firing the bullets.
It seems we are all in a battle these days. With income streams crashing, and line items many of us grew up taking for granted fading away, everyone has new and challenging struggles, in just maintaining an acceptable level of existence. Politicians with six figure salaries, Government jobs which heretofore offered the promise of long term security, all of that which was once considered necessary social architecture, is being examined for the first time and being held up to the light of public scrutiny.
For the first time in my life, I am seeing people step forward and simply, ethically and steadily, begin to ask the right questions.
It really gives me goose bumps to look around me in my community and see everyone holding a rose.
But that is why we will succeed.
All of us need heros.
Daily Good is something my friend Jeff Parker pointed me towards. It comes to you every day and is a good read over your morning coffee.
Seth Godin, as always, is in perfect sync with my community today.
An organization where you will find a global assortment of heroes is One Percent for the Planet.
Thanks to Joe Cardella for sending this along once again. Stand By Me.
Click on any of the images in this blog for a little back story.
Tags: American Heros, California Street, Community activism, community activist, Community Crises, Daily Good, Eco hero, Helen Yunker, Lorenzo DeStefano, one percent for the planet, Parking pay stations, Paul Jenkin, Santa Clara River, Seth Godin, social change, the real california, Ventura Community, Ventura Film Society, Ventura Watershed, water pollution