World Vasectomy Day is encouraging men to join forces and take responsibility for family planning. This is an opportunity to bring people together to talk about our collective responsibility while offering men a concrete way to contribute towards a solution by having a vasectomy.
Jonathan Stack would like you to think about this, “If humanity is the cause of the planet’s woes, what are we supposed to do?”
Last week, I was about to share some exciting news … that Dr Doug Stein and his family were getting ready to summit Mt Kilimanjaro where he would unfurl the October 18th World Vasectomy Day banner when I found out that he and his daughter Alison had to return to Florida after a terrible car accident in Tanzania.
Thankfully, Doug and Alison, although a bit broken and terribly bruised, came away with their lives intact and nothing permanently damaged, (besides some scars I am sure and horrible memories). Tragically, two others on a motorcycle, died.
Here’s a note from Alison soon after arriving home by plane:
We’re so grateful and very much in awe to be alive to tell the tale. Yesterday was terrifying being with my dad thinking he could be suffering from a delayed ruptured spleen. What a relief it was to confirm that he was ok – I’d be lost without him! I’m sad not to be hiking the mountain, but it isn’t going anywhere soon. So it will have to wait :). Perhaps to celebrate the second anniversary of World Vasectomy Day!
In the indomitable spirit that defines Doug and his family and friends, and their profound support for World Vasectomy Day, Ramon Suarez, president of No Scalpel Vasectomy International and Maryanne Stein (Doug’s wife) along with Doug’s cousin and Ramon’s granddaughter made the decision to get to the top to unfurl that banner. It seems nothing will stop them.
By the way, Ramon at 75 years young is an extraordinarily tough man! Doug had told me that he had more confidence in Ramon’s ability to summit than his own. The beauty is, he’ll not only get there, but he’ll do so with a smile. They’re meant to summit on the 11th. We’ll share the pictures as we receive them.
And here at sea level, things are moving ahead with preparations for World Vasectomy Day going strong and lots of exciting news out of Australia about our event. More interest everywhere and a growing number of committed participants worldwide.
That said, here’s a true confession, crowdfunding is tougher than I had imagined and getting people to rally behind an event focused on population is not easy. Think about it … if humanity is the cause of the planet’s woes, what are we supposed to do?
As the credits rolled for An Inconvenient Truth, there were hundreds of little ways people were told they could make a difference. Change light bulbs, drive a Hybrid, recycle, the list goes on … With the issue of population, the only straightforward call to action is to have less children. Or as is discussed in this week’s Time Magazine article, have none at all. That’s not an easy issue to rally around.
There are days, admittedly, when even I don’t want to keep going. I’ve got other stories to tell and films to make and causes I support and frankly, begging for dollars really does suck, but I believe that the conversation we’re building is the most important one we’ll ever have. There’s just no way, we’ll resolve the challenges we face without addressing our own responsibility for them.
Could we stop? I suppose so, but the numbers of people on the planet won’t stop. The resources to make our lives more fulfilling won’t increase. The suffering is real and our children’s future is at stake. I can’t give up just because it’s hard to talk about. At the heart of the event is a simple commitment to inspire a conversation to address the biggest issue we’ll ever face in the only way we can … by talking about population and doing something about it. World Vasectomy Day is my way of helping contribute to that conversation and inspiring individual action.
I am a storyteller at heart and as such, I love hearing stories as well as telling them. Here are two from this past week that reinforce my resolve.
1: Before heading to Tanzania, Doug et al were on a vasectomy mission in Kenya where they saw a “tubal ligation.” Doug told me that witnessing this woman endure so much pain just to make sure she had no more children made a few of them cry. I have witnessed the operation too and it left me equally traumatized. So this week when someone pointed out that we were wrong to encourage men to get “sterilized,” I felt like shouting at them to stop protecting men and start protecting women. I answered carefully instead …
“Listen, I agree that every man should have the right to make a child if that is what he desires, but if the price women pay for our right causes them that much suffering, maybe we’re going to have to make some real sacrifice as well”.
2: Last weekend my 89 year-old Aunt Syril asked me if I still felt strongly about holding onto the land our family owns in Western Massachusetts. I said, “Yes. I believe our great grandchildren will thank us if we do”.
Aunt Syril looked at me with her piercing eyes and said, “Wow, I had never thought about it like that.” Then after a bit of reflection she said, “But what if they’re assholes?”
I thought about it and decided to soldier on regardless. What’s at stake is too important to give up on now. And what I value, so real, that I know I will never give up.
Be it the healing of those who have suffered, the pain and shame of pursuing the impossible dream, the summiting of a mountain, the creating of an event whose purpose is to get men to put our “balls on the line to protect our planet’s future,” I believe we will raise the money and we will have an incredibly successful World Vasectomy Day 2013. But we can’t do it without you, so please come on board and spread the word. Please join our crowdfunding campaign and please be part of World Vasectomy Day!
All you have to do is click the link below and pledge your support – thank you.
We want you to join in a new conversation about population and consumption, by asking men to take a very personal action to change the world.
Please contribute to our Crowdfunding Campaign. The countdown is on…
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