“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Keep the mountains tall.

As a kid I spent a lot of time outdoors in California. I’ve backpacked along the Lost Coast, clambering from the base of a trickling, fern-covered ravine to the top of a windswept highland overlooking the Northern Pacific. I spent ten days once in a kayak among the San Juan islands, camping each night in a different inlet, surrounded by otters and whales. Another time, sleeping under the stars in the badlands of Utah, we had to scramble on top of our van to escape a herd of wild burros pounding across the desert in the darkness.

Times like these made me feel small next to the vastness of the world. But contact with absolutes – high mountains, large oceans, and wild creatures – also brought tranquility, a sense of balance from grasping my true scale.

Observing our unabated exploitation of natural resources, I’ve come to believe we’ve lost this sense of balance — and that slowing the pace of drastic climate change is one of the great tasks my generation must embrace. Recognizing too the broad advances in human welfare that commerce enables, I want to work in business and government to further an inclusive, sustainable future – one that creates opportunity while preserving the earth's magnificence.

I want my kids, and all kids, to experience the wonder of feeling gloriously small. I want to keep the seas from rising, so that the mountains stay tall.

 

— Nick Gerry-Bullard