Conversations with extraordinary people
29 July 2013
Your first look at issue 36
Like most of us, life is like a game of spinning plates.Â Many, many, plates. Amidst the chaos and confusion of it all we hear theÂ Lorax say, âUnless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing isÂ going to get better, itâs not.â This reminds us why we spin those plates.
We are with the Lorax. Itâs you and me. There is no one else who is going toÂ fix, clean up, challenge or amend this reality we share. Weâre it.
It can be daunting to know where to start, so in this issue we bring youÂ stories bursting with antidotes to apathy.
These five people (below) have understood something fundamental: That lifeÂ is made up of a thousand steps and we need to begin with one, even ifÂ weâre afraid to fail.
Thatâs not to say we canât have fun while doing it. Being a grown up canÂ be a rather numbing list of responsibilities and Gantt charts. We need toÂ play more. Not in the 80s anthem of âwork hard play hardâ but in that oldÂ fashioned âlose yourself and get sillyâ kind of way. In exploring the role ofÂ play in our lives, the Dumbo team realised itâs been years since we truly played at all.Â But as it turns out, play is as essential to our wellbeing as sunlight.
So letâs all heed the Lorax and care a whole awful lotâabout everything.
Maria Popova is a Brain Picker
Maria writes Brain Pickings, a daily blog so astounding in its depth and complexity that the US Library of Congress has deemed it a national treasure.
âWe remind ourselves that the issues facing our world are very human, and that other humans have thought about them before, and have sometimes thought about them much better.â
Blake Mycoskie is the Chief Shoegiver
Blakeâs company, TOMS, proves that business has the power to change the world. Their model is simple: for each pair of shoes bought, a pair is donated to a child in need.
âWeâre not just some cute idea, weâre a successful, prominent business and weâre helping people.â
Jason Roberts is a Renegade Builder
Weâve abandoned our neighbourhoods and killed off our living spaces. As the founder of Better Block, itâs Jasonâs mission to bring them back to life to create spaces for meaningful interaction.
âPeople paint over graffiti, you put all this effort into building a sand castle and itâs washed away. Why do you do that? Well, nothingâs permanent in life. Thereâs no such thing as safety. I could get cancer tomorrow. Thatâs what I found out!â
Mama Kin has found her Voice
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Mama Kin supported other musicians to live out their dreams until one day she stopped making excuses and found her own voice.
âI have albums that were eras in my life. Artists that would articulate feelings and emotions I was grappling with, and these songs would come through and it would be, How can you possibly express my heart in that way right now? How can you possibly be at the centre of my grief at my loneliest moment, and Iâve never met you. Iâve never even laid eyes on you. Thatâs fucking alchemy! Thatâs magical! It spins me out that thatâs what Iâm a part of.â
Peter Hammarstedt is a Sea Shepherd
Peter risks his life for whales. He is captain of one of four Sea Shepherd ships, the Bob Barker. He lives by the ethos that if we want to see a more balanced world, we must stand our ground against injustice.
âThroughout history, it has been passionate individuals who change things, not government.â
The Lost Art of Play
We donât play anymore. Why is that?Â As children, play is one of the first things we learn to do.Â It teaches us to be optimistic, flexible and social. Yet when weÂ grow up, it seems to almost disappear from our lives.