Mother Nature CEO. Panama 2012

People have always asked me if it is really worth it to fly halfway cross the world, spend a week in the jungle and spend money to join a hiking expedition in the jungle? I never know what to say, because each adventure appeals to different sides of me and I can never think of one specific reason to explain my actions.

The interesting thing is that I nominated myself for this latest opportunity in Panama. It was a moment of instinct rather than having considered all the aspects, and I must admit that going to a country like Panama that I had never been to was the main reason. As a result of my impulsive actions I went with little expectation and during my 44 hour flight to Panama frequently cursed myself for having made this decision.

Now on the way back I realize that sometimes, intuitive decisions are the best decisions. The opportunity and the inspiration I have gained from seeing people who are extremely passionate about a vision and being able to pull off the impossible and at the same time do good for this planet, was in itself worth the trouble.

Another enticing factor was the opportunity to immerse myself for 6 days in the jungle. I was excited at the idea of getting physically exhausted, doing things that I have never done before, meeting amazing individuals and getting to share life stories with people who have very different experiences. Above all, I could not wait to see Mother Nature from close-up in action.

I was reminded of the understanding of how everything in an Eco system has a role and that no one can function without the other. How in some instances a blooming flower has developed a unique partnership with a single humming bird species to get its pollen distributed. How vines piggyback on trees and in then ‘strangle and merge’ with the tree to create a new entity. How plants and animals adapt to counter changes in their environment and of course how everything in nature is about long-term survival and growth.

There are so many similarities and so many things that we in the business world do that are diagonally opposite to how nature works and then are surprised if things don’t work out in a way that is sustainable over a longer period. You might say that we know this of course and this is nothing new, and I can’t agree more. But sometimes it helps if you are being reminded of all these principles and encouraged to apply them again.

– Paul Keijzer


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