In my last post about Rhode Island diving, I made the statement that ‘diving is difficult’. I made this same comment to a colleague at a recent conference, and it was met with some surprise – until I explained further.
We all dive because we love it, and that love for the experience, and the entire process, helps us look past the difficult parts. But it is indeed difficult. The gear is heavy, we go from warm and comfortable to cold and mildly uncomfortable, we need to embrace an acute sense of situational awareness to manage ourselves within this alien environment – it’s work, and that’s the easy part of it. In my world, diving in the extremes, the psychological task load increases significantly – more work. Frankly, if it were ‘easy’, everyone would do it. The numbers of divers out there are still just a drop in the bucket of the world’s population.
So, what can we do to make it ‘easier’ – not much, unless we evolved to have a set of gills, which will certainly not happen in any one’s lifetime that happens to be reading this Blog.
With a quick read through the daily news, it is not hard to see why the ocean, its exploration, habitation, and so on is not a huge priority – humanitarian works take the stage, and rightfully so – if we can’t even find common ground to co-exist with one another, then how can we collectively look to advance our species? To even consider that a new world view emphasizing humankind’s presence in the sea, that objective needs uniform attention from the masses; and that means making it ‘easy’, or at least globally palatable. Unfortunately, it remains ‘difficult’.
While all of the sights and sounds beneath the waves are indeed marvelous, and have an inherent ability to peak curiosities of the masses, it is our fundamental understanding of water that will take us the distance. Appreciating water, its properties, its interconnectivity, its roots within all life are where we should spend energies in trying to transform culture. This lends itself to a humanitarian movement from which we can leverage for our new life in the sea.
Of course, the sneak peaks along the way are critical to keep the horizon in focus. As difficult as it can be to suit up and take that plunge – the clarity and perspective on life is much needed to be an effective ambassador of the sea.