This year, the third annual AWARE Week happens 19-27 September. Although we fight for and advocate on behalf of the seas year ’round, AWARE Week brings PADI Torchbearers together for a concentrated, visible span of ocean research, rescue and restoration. Dive with your local PADI Resort or Dive Center as part of surveys, clean ups, community outreach and education, Project AWARE specialty education or, really, anything that moves the needle toward a healthier ocean and a better balance between people and our water planet. Project AWARE’s Action Map and the PADI AdventuresTM app highlight a lot of what’s going on (all the time – not just AWARE week), and you can also check here for Project AWARE events. But, your local PADI shop is the best place to start.
Three points related to AWARE Week 2020 in particular and being a PADI Torchbearer in general:
- Every action you take on behalf of the ocean – no matter how small it seems in the moment – makes a difference. In fact, it may make more difference than you realize – a simple example: A sandwich bag drifts by and you stash it in your BCD pocket to dispose of properly later. Not much effort, but the difference you made is that sea turtles often die from eating plastic bags (they look like prey jellies) due to intestinal blockage. Save one female and you’ve saved 1,000 to 2,000 hatchlings, too. You can never know if that bag would have killed a leatherback, but by taking two seconds to grab it, you can know it never will. Now consider this: Every time you avoid a single-use plastic, opt to recycle, choose sustainable over fossil and so on, you’re doing the same thing. Make these little things a habit, and they not only add up, but you become a role model who helps others acquire the same behaviors. As Dutch impressionist Vincent Van Gogh’s said, “Great things are done by a series of small things put together.” From making sustainable choices to reducing your carbon footprint, to diving with a purpose, to standing up for the ocean, it adds up. Check out how you can make every day of AWARE Week 2020 count.
- Investing in yourself makes a difference. We’re all limited in how much we can do, but we can leverage it by learning more. The more skilled you are as a diver and the more knowledgeable you are about the marine environment, the more you can do as PADI Torchbearer and ocean advocate. Author Roy T. Bennett said, “[Investing in yourself] is the best investment you can make; you can never go wrong with it. It is the true way to improve yourself to be the best version of you and lets you be able to best serve those around you.” During AWARE Week, invest in sharpening your skills and knowledge for better informed choices and decisions above and below the surface.
- Being countable makes a difference. The other way we leverage what we can do is by teaming up with others. As I said in my last blog, one reason the PADI family has so much influence is size – the bigger our team, the more attention we get from business, politicians, media and communities. When millions speak together, we’re hard to ignore – but, that mainly works when one can set those millions in motion together. My point is, if you have not done so yet, click here to get your name on the PADI Torchbearer list, and get someone else to do the same. These are two of the easiest, yet most powerful, steps you can take on behalf of better future with a healthy, sustainable sea, and a great way to start your journey as a PADI Torchbearer this AWARE week.
19th century philosopher William James said, “Act as though what you do makes a difference. It does.”
Have a great AWARE Week 2020 – I look forward to hearing about all the events, courses and efforts we did together as PADI Torchbearers.
Seek adventure. Save the ocean.
President & CEO PADI Worldwide