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Constant pressure, endlessly applied

April 23 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

A near constant force within the Surfrider voice is Gordon LaBedz. He comments on nearly everything and always takes a strong stance. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree. Gordon has a phrase that he seems to throw into most dialogs that always makes me pause. It makes me take a deep breath... and know that it's an appropriate reminder.

That phrase is...

Constant pressure,
endlessly applied.

If I can be so bold to co-opt his phrase and then define it... he means that without constant attention to detail, without constant vigilence... and without marrying that attitude with a mindset that isn't time-based or campaign-based... without those elements, working together... you're toast.

You may not be toast yet and you may not feel the heat being turned up or your edges starting to burn... but you are on your way to becoming toast.

In my opinion, he's right.

He's totally right.

You can apply his pithy nugget to anything... but he usually applies it to the environment. Having the seat I do and the dashboard I have... seeing destruction, environmental challenges pop into my inbox like brushfires... Gordon's absolutely right.

If we love something, understand how special the thing is we love and invest our actions and resources to protect that thing from outside forces... and never, ever go to sleep on the issue. If we don't do all those things, we lose that very... special thing.

In Southern California we, the collective Californian populous, must be ok with our State Parks being taken away and those that aren't taken away having privately-funded toll roads put through them.

Maybe Californians are fine with 48 State Parks being closed as well.

I know we feel that way because that's what we, the collective we, are allowing to happen.

In Mar Del Plata, Argentina the collective population must be fine with having the government dump massive rocks into the lineup and destroy local sporting resources... because that's what they are allowing to take place.

In Montauk, Long Island the local population must be fine with the fact that surfing... the simple, non-violent act of surfing, is illegal. I know they feel that way as that's what they are allowing to take place.

If you don't fight to win.

If you don't organize to preserve... you're toast.

The older I get the more I understand how special things are. I understand the priceless value of a summer day at the beach with my family. I understand the true, total cost of having water be so dirty that locals can't play in it. But I've also come to know that "understanding is cheap". The real question for me and for all of us is "are we going to subscribe to Gordon's 'constant pressure, endlessly applied' ethic?"

Are we going to do that or are we simply going to sit back and let the world run us right over?

If you love something. Invest in it. Put yourself into it, take a stand to protect it. Leave more than a bank account as your legacy, leave something priceless.

Constant pressure, endlessly applied.

Gordon, you can remind me of that line any day, every day.
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