Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charlie Russell: An Interview (ASPB News Letter Spring 2012)

Charlie Russell's name and bears have been synonymous for decades.  His family has a ranching background and an appreciation for nature honed from decades on the land.  He has written extensively of his travels and experiences.  Since leaving ranching, he has spent an enormous amount of time living with bears.  His next book will be examining the relationship between people and bears.

As a long standing member of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, I was delighted to receive my newsletter, replete with the musings of Charlie Russell.  Ngaio Hotte writes a great account of some experiences, thoughts and philosophies.  And there are many gems within the text that were well worth the read.  However, I came away with a profound feeling of being connected with the passage the accompanies the last photo.  In its simplest form it is akin to carrying a smile instead of a frown.
"As the Grizzly teaches us, a lack of love, understanding, and compassion creates a creature to be feared: a a shift in our emotional response creates a creature to be enjoyed."
The manner in which we view bears, as fearful, sets up the relationship on the wrong path.  The passage above contemplates relationships, all of them, are a direct reflection of the love, understanding and compassion that living beings can (and need to) express - wild animals included.  This deep spiritual connection is what many aboriginal and native people refer to that puzzles members of some other cultures.

Source: Alberta Society of Professional Biologists

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