Nicanor Is Not Another Cute Story

by Raphael Melis

From time to time, I hear people blaming the government and multinational companies for the problems that we all suffer about the environment. In summary, air and land pollution are results of the lack of concern and responsibility toward our planet provided by the government and the multinational companies.
Much of that is said in a few conversations about the subject of which I am lucky enough to be part of. Every time I get to be part of this subject, I express my opinion, pointing out that the environmental problems we all suffer are sidelined and that the real problem is in all of us. All of us, in one way or another, are responsible for the environmental problems and the very cause of this problem is the mass consumption.

We like to consume without regard of its implications. We consume for many reasons of our own, like the need of comfort, status, luxury, basic life needs, and so on. But according to advertisements of companies, trying to sell their product, we consume because consuming is good for us and this is good because it will make a difference in our lives, and by doing so, we will be happy.

We consume, we create garbage, therefore, companies seeking out for our happiness will produce more for us to consume, making the shareholders of those companies really happy about it with plenty of money in their pockets, willing to consume like everybody else. This is the cycle of modern life.

Mass production and mass consumption is the cycle we all live in, and for now, people with more brains than me regarding to this subject are banging their heads on the wall, thinking for a definitive solution on protecting and maintaining our environment clean, safe, and more or less, balanced according to the laws of nature.
A good example I can point out about this matter is the extinction of the northern white rhino. The last northern white rhino male has died this year on Sudan, putting the hopes to bring back the species to Earth almost to none. This happened because the increase consumption of their horns in Asia was based on the belief that those horns can cure a vast array of ailments. The need to consume those horns based on that belief lead to a continuous poaching of the northern white rhino toward its extinction. The need to consume based on an idea took the northern white rhinos to the road of extinction, as well as many living species before them and sadly in the future, many species after them.

The cycle of consumption is being responsible for polluting our land, air, and water as well as being responsible for extinguishing living species of all kinds in our planet.

The book Nicanor the Penguin came into life not because a friend of mine told me it was a good idea to tell the cute story of his, but because this same friend of mine inspired me to tell the story of Nicanor since kindness and respect to other creatures in this world can bring the balance this planet so desperately needs to its environment and even to be an example with dealing with societies issues in general.

Nicanor the Penguin is not just another cute story of a penguin. Nicanor the Penguin is a story based on real life events that can teach children about the importance of love, kindness, courage, friendship, acceptance, and respect to others.

When my father found Nicanor dying on the beach, he took to himself the responsibility to leave him there and believe that life has its own course and meaning or to take him home and help him to once again survive the ordeal of life and live his life as a penguin. My father chose the second one and together with my mother they saved Nicanor. After a while, being well and healthy, Nicanor, not living in a cage and aloud to live free in our home that was located a few meters way from the ocean, had all the freedom of the world to leave and jump into the ocean, but instead, he decided to stay and become part of the family. The kindness that my family gave to him was given back by him to us, and the departure of him from us as written in the story shown that humans and earthly creatures has a deep psychic connection and we as humans, in its majority, have a deep struggle to understand and to respect.

What I’ve learned from this page of my life is that we are all connected as living beings in one way of the others, like it or not. So, the real story of Nicanor found in the middle section of the children’s book, for me, is another good example of what we as humans can do to help others in need: stop blaming others for our own failures, take the responsibility to ourselves of our actions and help others in need by giving kindness through actions— in this case, actions to fix the environment and to help other living creatures to live and be part of the crew that runs this spaceship called Earth.

I like to believe that for saving Nicanor’s life, my family made a great contribution in maintaining numbers of the Magellanic’s Penguin community still alive and well, because after all, if Nicanor managed to survive his great journey back to Patagonia, his 25 years living span probably gave him the ability to make babies that helped him to maintain in that region, the circle of life so important to keep his habitat balanced and healthy as nature designed to. And THAT, my dear readers, is a story worth telling so.
Raphael Melis has a blog in which he likes, from time to time, to write some stuff that comes into his mind. The blog address is

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