“The pirates visiting the island introduced goats, donkeys, and rats,” said Sophia, our tour guide.
Kathy and I were on an anniversary trip to the Galapagos Islands. There are thirteen islands, all of which originated from volcanic eruptions. They believe these islands became inhabited by unique species somehow floating or flying the six hundred miles from Ecuador’s rainforest. The main inhabitants are giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, penguins, fish, and birds.
“So where are all the goats, donkeys and rats?” I asked. “I haven’t seen any of them over the last couple of days on any of the islands we visited.”
“These animals, once introduced by the pirates, began to decimate the tortoise and bird populations. They would eat their food and then eat their eggs and their young. Because the tortoises didn’t move fast enough and had no natural defenses, they became less and less as these other animals proliferated. In fact, there were thousands of rats, hundreds of donkeys, and eighty thousand goats at one time,” Sophia explained.
“So what happened?” I asked.
“We couldn’t let the tortoises become extinct, so we devised a plan to eliminate these invaders,” she said.
“What was the plan?” I asked.
“Poison the rats and shoot the goats and donkeys,” she said.
Upon hearing this, many on the tour said, “That was the right thing to do.” And they all nodded their heads in agreement. Then Sophia looked at me and saw I was surprised.
She asked, “What are you thinking?”
“Sucks for the goats,” I said.
After a couple more days of tours, I started calling our guides the conservation police. Their job, and the jobs of all the people who live and work in the Galapagos, is clear. They are there to protect all the animals from any predatory intervention, whether animal or man.
Their goal is to ensure, at all costs, that nothing changes, ever. No change. Even to the point of not allowing any interbreeding of species.
That’s when it hit me.
These people have a life purpose which is the exact opposite of my life. They live a life whose purpose is to not change anything. I live a life whose purpose is to change everything.
I have spent every day of the last 25 years meeting and listening to entrepreneurs who tell me their ideas. Initially, it’s just the idea. Then they cast their vision of what business or life would be like if only they could make their idea a reality.
Entrepreneurs are exciting. They see the unseeable. They think the unthinkable. They believe the unimaginable.
This has been my environment. This is where I work and play. This is where I spend my time. This is where I apply my purpose.
I enjoyed my visit to the Galapagos Islands.
The people of the Galapagos are the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Quick to smile and offer a helping hand. What separates us, what makes us different, is our purpose in life. Theirs is to defend the status quo. Mine is to change it.
They had something I didn’t have.
They were surrounded by majestic beauty in every direction every single day. God’s creation was everywhere and in abundance. So I decided to see through their eyes. I wanted to see as they see.
That is when I began to appreciate the Galapagos. Kathy did this from day one. It took me a few days. But when I finally saw it, it was magnificent.
Maybe some things are better left untouched.