With courage, conviction, humility, Shakespeare and Captain Planet
Everyone has heard of Ted Turner, but few really know the man. Among those who know him a lot better are those who've taken the time to read his amazing story in Todd Wilkinson's 2013 biography, Last Stand, Ted Turner's quest to save a troubled planet.
A media mogul with a conscience, one of his greatest contributions (in his own opinion) was the Captain Planet cartoon series that he co-created with Barbara Pyle in 1990. The show was intended to promote environmental awareness and encourage young viewers to be conscious of how their choices affected the world around them. It ran for a total of five years on TBS and apparently shaped the lives of millions of young adults today.
Why am I writing about Ted Turner? While in Atlanta on 2-18-14, following the birth of my granddaughter (Evvy Laura), I had the privilege of visiting with his daughter, Laura, who gave me a copy of Last Stand that was published just prior to Ted's 75th birthday celebration in 2013. During that meeting, we focused on the unprecedented sustainability issues that our planet is now facing---issues that were primarily caused by human activities during the past century---a mere blink in the eye of history.
Since that meeting in Atlanta, I have read Last Stand and have done a bit of research on this great American. While watching a 47-minute video (see below) of him speaking to a group of Stanford MBA students in 2010, I heard him utter a phrase that made my heart sing:
We've got to start living in harmony with nature.
Also, during that video, one of the students mentioned that he grew up with Captain Planet, a comment that brought sheer joy to Ted's face. It turns out that half of that Stanford class had watched it as kids. And, in case you're too old to remember that cartoon series, I have provided a one-minute sample here in this article.