CLIMBER BLOG: Shannon Ethridge
I think this project ultimately picked me rather than the other way around. I was actually on a trip with Kenna and a group of mutual friends in early 2008 when the words about his vision began to permate into all of our hearts. He wanted to invite his friends to climb Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for clean water. It was a simple notion, yet Kenna knew the effort required action takers and that somewhere in his world of DOers…they existed. As many of my Angeleno friends jumped on board to help him, I naturally feel into the mix.
At about the same time, this Gandhi quote had taken hold of me: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
It had become a catalyst to begin my own search for a way to participate in a larger movement. If I could lead by example, would anyone follow? I had joined forces with my good friend Brooke Fedro to start a partnership that motivated creative, cause-oriented content with an action-oriented vision. Brooke and I knew we could DO something to help make Kenna’s vision a reality, but it was just going to taking some pavement pounding. A little hard work towards something you believe in is good for the soul, and I was ready to feed mine.
What was an issue that I had no sense of quickly became my passion. The stories and statistics surrounding clean water for humanity overwhelmed me. This was a massive problem! Each person I told sensed the enormity. But I knew that even the simplest of actions could make an incredible difference in the lives of others, so I stayed on the long train ride towards Kilimanjaro. When I invested in producing this massive effort, I truly saw it as a simple way that I could help those who needed it or a way to at least inspire others to do the same. If I just started to DO something…everything would fall into place…and that is exactly what happened.
SOTSK was a success because of the collaborations that will exist beyond our footsteps on that mountain, because of the community we formed that will take larger footsteps in creating a movement for clean, safe drinking water.
You don’t have to climb a mountain to change the world, but you could flush your toilet less often or volunteer for an hour and actually change a life.
In the words of Nike…JUST DO IT!
- Shannon Ethridge