Ran Elfassy's Blog

Have You Seen the Most Tragic Animal You’ve Never Heard Of?

Using Service Leadership to Save Pangolins
May 7, 2015

►  Being full-on is captured by that momentum we decide to move into action.
►  As a case study, we explore why someone would get full-on about saving pangolins.
►  To get full-on, will you seek new opportunities to move from intention to expression?
 
At what point do we decide to get full-on?  For those who really know me, they know I’m a big fan of Marcel Duchamp’s work and ideas on inspiration and creativity. Duchamp was the French-American artist who rejected ‘retinal’ painting – the kind that worried only about what paintings looked like – in favor of what many now call ‘Conceptual Art’. He was the guy who took a urinal, signed it with the pseudonym R Mutt, called it ‘Fountain’, and caused an uproar. Decades later, a panel of respected art historians called Fountain one of the most important art works of the 20th Century. Many have accused him of being a fraud for taking the piss, so to speak. Kidding aside, consider what Duchamp’s ideas around creativity and inspiration mean for being full-on.
 
According to Duchamp and the people who appreciate him, what isn’t important is the execution of the work – the result. The pretty picture at the end doesn’t matter as much as that moment when a person imagines a different way of being and expressing. That moment is the core of the creative act. This is the point when we decide to move from intention to action. This is the moment when the inner momentum to do something turns into that moment of expression. This is when we’ve decided to get full-on, and how this relates to the tragic reality of the Chinese pangolin is the subject of this post.
 
EASY TO CATCH + HIGH PROFITS = RECIPE FOR EXTINCTION
 
Pangolins are shy mammals about the size of a house cat. They look like the North American armadillo but in the case of pangolins they are the only mammal with scales. They typically hide during the day, forage at night and mostly feed by using their long claws to get into termite mounds. When scared, they curl up into a tight ball that predators can’t pierce, or they climb and hang from trees. They can’t run well and they mostly stick to themselves.
 
There are five species of pangolin on the planet, covering Southeast Asia and some African countries, and all are vulnerable to or already threatened with extinction. The reason people hunt pangolins is because their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine and their meat is considered a delicacy. Mainland China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and a few other Asian countries prize pangolins more dead than alive. It’s big business and pangolins don’t stand a chance.
 
Using dogs to sniff out the shy animals, poachers don’t even need to break a sweat to get their prey. To catch a pangolin you only need to walk up to the cowering animals and bag them. There’s no fear of getting bitten because pangolins don’t even have teeth to bite.
 
As far as hunted animals are concerned, pangolins are about as tragic as they come.
 
GETTING FULL-ON IS ALWAYS PERSONAL
 
From the Service Leadership program that says we have to strengthen our Competence, Character and Care, it’s important to realize that Service Leadership is an especially personal journey. Service Leadership is mostly about who you are than what you can do. It’s less interested with developing expertise or skill and much more about developing the personal excellence that lies in each and every one of us. When it came to pangolins, the 3-Cs of my Competence, Character and Care compelled me to get full-on.
 
In my case, the Competence comes around raising awareness. My Character is such that I want to help the animals that suffer because of mankind’s shameful behavior. With regard to Care, I simply can’t ignore the vulnerability that pangolins have in light of people’s selfishness. I could have turned away – I have many things calling for my attention, but living a full-on life means I can’t shy away when I see such a terrible state of affairs.
 
I hope I can inspire more people – people like you! – to find and release that inner momentum to help pangolins survive. Join the new Pangolin Action Society and help to:

  1. Get into the wild to understand how many pangolins are still out there.
     
  2. Conduct a market study to understand if people are eating pangolin, how often and why?
     
  3. Run our event in June and launch other campaigns to raise awareness.

 
If you would like to learn more and tap your own service leadership to help the pangolin, please visit:
 
   1. Poachers and Pangolins – by Paul Hilton
   2. Pangolins – Please Help Us Save Them
 

► WHAT DO YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT? WHAT TOUCHES A DEEPER NEED INSIDE YOU? GET PRESENT ABOUT THE THINGS YOU CARE ABOUT, APPLY YOUR COMPETENCE AND START SHARING YOUR CHARACTER TO WIN THE TRUST OF OTHERS IN ORDER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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