The Kid Should See This

Wangari Maathai – “I will be a hummingbird”

The Story of the Hummingbird, as told by celebrated Kenyan environmental activist, women’s rights advocate, and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai in this clip from Dirt! The Movie:

We are constantly being bombarded by problems that we face and sometimes we can get completely overwhelmed.

The story of the hummingbird is about this huge forest being consumed by a fire. All the animals in the forest come out and they are transfixed as they watch the forest burning and they feel very overwhelmed, very powerless, except this little hummingbird. It says, ‘I’m going to do something about the fire!’ So it flies to the nearest stream and takes a drop of water. It puts it on the fire, and goes up and down, up and down, up and down, as fast as it can.

In the meantime all the other animals, much bigger animals like the elephant with a big trunk that could bring much more water, they are standing there helpless. And they are saying to the hummingbird, ‘What do you think you can do? You are too little. This fire is too big. Your wings are too little and your beak is so small that you can only bring a small drop of water at a time.’

But as they continue to discourage it, it turns to them without wasting any time and it tells them, ‘I am doing the best I can.’

And that to me is what all of us should do. We should always be like a hummingbird. I may be insignificant, but I certainly don’t want to be like the animals watching the planet goes down the drain. I will be a hummingbird, I will do the best I can.

In the 1970s, Professor Maathai founded The Greenbelt Movement, an organization that works to empower women through environmental conservation, and educates communities about their political, economic, and environmental opportunities. The Story of the Hummingbird describes her motivation around these pursuits, but it is also an allegory for participation and personal empowerment that we can apply to any challenge.

Read more about Professor Maathai’s pioneering leadership at NobelPrize.org and GreenbeltMovement.org.

Meet more people making solutions: a dad that’s revolutionizing sanitation in India, a chef that’s leading China’s organic food movement, an Ethiopian empowering kids through skateboarding, and a 16 year old bioplastics inventor.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Kindness, a Thought Bubble by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Rion Nakaya

How this Japanese town is working to produce no trash

Rion Nakaya

Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba story

Rion Nakaya

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 crashes & landings – Flights 14, 17, 20, & 23

Rion Nakaya

Rosa Parks, her story as a lifelong civil rights activist

Rion Nakaya

The Story of Jane Goodall and Her Chimps (2010)

Rion Nakaya

Debunking the “I will never need to use this…” myth

Rion Nakaya

Rosetta spacecraft, Philae lander, & an animated history of comets

Rion Nakaya

The Perennial Plate: Kunming, China’s organic food movement

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe