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An interview with the bravest woman in the world Rose Savage

juin 7th, 2013

By Rachid Filali

 

- After the great success of you in the field of adventure across the seas and oceans, do you think that you are given a lesson enough for the enemies of the environment, note that the risk of environmental pollution is increasing from day to day?

I haven’t even begun yet, relatively speaking! Over the past 8 years I have used my adventures to raise awareness and inspire action on environmental issues, via my blogs, podcasts, Facebook and Twitter. And I think it had some considerable effect, especially in reaching people who didn’t naturally regard themselves as environmentalists.

But obviously we still have a very long way to go. As you say, every day we continue pollute our one and only planet. We live on a finite Earth, and now that there are 7.1 billion of us here, we are overburdening our ecosystem. This will not end well for us! Unfortunately, we seem to have mostly lost our ability or willingness to look into the future, and to see where we are heading. Ancient and indigenous cultures knew this well.

My belief is that we need to create a new metric of success. While we perpetuate the notion that “success” means a big house, a fat paycheck, and the latest fashions and gadgets, we have no hope of achieving sustainability. Psychologists have proved that this conspicuous consumption doesn’t even make us happy. Any such happiness is short-lived compared with the greater factors of happiness - contributing to our communities, nurturing our friendships and relationships, and living life with purpose and passion.

In a perfect world we would have greater human happiness, derived from the true and long-lasting factors, and at the same time reduce our environmental footprint by understanding that once basic needs are met, less really is more.

-Do you think you defend the rights of children as well,
Especially since they are exploited in many countries ugliest roads, and are there other adventures you have done in defense of similar humanitarian issues?

That is an interesting question. I have not campaigned specifically on children’s rights in terms of child labour etc, although by being an ethical consumer I believe I vote by making informed purchasing choices.

What I am campaigning for is the preservation of our ecosphere not only for children alive today, but for the children as yet unborn. I love to scuba dive – I hope to help preserve our oceans so that the children of the future can enjoy healthy coral reefs and rich marine life. I love seeing animals in their natural habitat – I hope that children of the future will be able to hear songbirds and watch dolphins and walk in the wilderness of the forests. I love to feel healthy – I hope that we are not contaminating our planet so much that future generations have to tolerate impaired health and diminished vitality.

Right now, we are stealing from the future. Our current way of life is diminishing the quality of life for future generations. That makes me feel guilty. But we have the knowledge and the science, and we can set a different path. I want the children of the future to look back on our generation and thank us – rather than being angry with us for having robbed them of Earth’s beauty, I want them to be grateful to us for having made wise, although maybe tough, decisions, to preserve this amazing and beautiful planet.

-There is still a large racial discrimination between women and men, have been adventures and clear message that women are able to achieve miracles, I want to ask you, in this context, where did you get all these extraordinary courage?

Throughout history, women have been at least as brave as men. Courage is not dependent on gender.

As to where I got my courage, I firmly believe that courage can be learned. It is not something you have to be born with. I did not used to have courage – I used to be afraid of all sorts of things. I was afraid of the dark, afraid to be different, afraid to be myself, and afraid of the ocean – in fact, I still am! The first two weeks on the Atlantic, especially at night, I was terrified. But after a while you get tired of being afraid, you find a way to come to terms with your own fear. There were so many times that I thought I had hit my absolute limit – of fear, frustration, boredom, pain – but when you have no choice, because you’re in the middle of an ocean and there is only one way to get to the other side, you just push on through it, and you realise that your limit was just a mirage, a figment that existed only in your mind, not in reality.

-What do you think Madam in the character of Arab women?Do you have a special message for her?

I understand that life is very different for Arab women, that they have many restrictions that women in the West do not have. Probably some do not mind these restrictions – and that is fine – but I do believe strongly in freedom to choose, and so I pray that women in the Arab world will claim greater freedom for themselves.

Thousands of years ago, many societies were matriarchal. Now we are in a patriarchal era. My vision for the future is that we have a world where neither gender dominates, but rather that we realise we function best when both the masculine and the feminine are honoured and respected.

-Do you achieved all your dreams in life and what is your philosophy?I mean, what are the most important advice you worked in your daily life?And is the author of your favorite?

I still have so much to do! For me, rowing across 3 oceans was just the start. It was an important stage on my life journey, showing me what I am capable of – and if I can go from being fearful to being courageous, if I can go from being a nobody to being a somebody – then anybody can. We all have so much potential, and I hope that my life story will help inspire other people to rise up and be all that they can be.

My favourite quote is by the late actor Denholm Elliot – “surprise yourself every day with your own courage”. I try to live by that. We are all so much more courageous, have so much more potential, than we dare to believe. Believe it!!

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Roz Savage is an ocean rower, environmental campaigner, author and speaker. She holds four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. She has rowed over 15,000 miles, taken around 5 million oarstrokes, and spent cumulatively over 500 days of her life at sea in a 23-foot rowboat. Her first book, “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”, was published in 2009. Her second book, “Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman’s Search for Happiness and Meaning on the Pacific” is published on October 15 this year, by Hay House.

She is a United Nations Climate Hero, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, and has been listed amongst the Top Twenty Great British Adventurers by the Daily Telegraph. In 2010 she was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic.





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