Is fear always a bad thing?
It all depends on how we act on it. Either it motivates us to stand up for what is right, or it can hinder us from doing anything at all. The thing about Leonardo is that he’s used his fear to make a difference. He made the choice to create change the best way he knew how: by bringing awareness to people about the issue that concerned him most.
Know that this article does not take any sides when it comes to climate change. It is here to look into the life of someone who saw an opportunity to do what they believe is right.
Leonardo DiCaprio, famous for his various movie roles from Titanic to the Revenant, partnered with National Geographic to bring awareness to the effects of climate change and the necessary steps in stopping it. The film, titled Before the Flood, was released in selected theatres on October 30th, 2016. It was also released on YouTube, free to watch, already having over 11 million views.
While gathering information for the film DiCaprio spent two years traveling around the world, going to places like China, Indonesia, Canada, Greenland, and Florida, to name a few.
In his travels he met and interviewed different world leaders and scientists, gaining interesting insight and perspectives. He was able to meet with leaders like Pope Francis, President Barack Obama, and Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, among various climate scientists and scientists from NASA. At the end of his journey he addresses the United Nations in a speech declaring that the appropriate steps need to be taken to stop an imminent threat.
Again, it cannot be said enough, this article isn’t about climate change. It’s about how DiCaprio dealt with this fear that has been with him for many years now.
It’s inspiring to me that he would dedicate so much time to inform people about an issue that he cares about deeply. He didn’t just sit in fear like so many do. He allowed fear to motivate him towards action. He saw it as an opportunity to fight against something he believes is a plaguing issue.
Leonardo isn’t the only celebrity to do this, either. Ashton Kutcher is a great example of a celebrity who is trying to make a difference. Kutcher founded Thorn back in 2009, a organization raising awareness of human-trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.
Matt Damon is another celebrity who is standing up for what he believes in. Water.org, established in 2009, is an organization founded by Damon and Gary White that works with developing countries to bring clean water to those who don’t have access. Back when the ALSA ice bucket challenge was a thing, Damon wanted to bring awareness to his organization so instead of using clean water he dumped toilet water on his head.
Whether you agree with their stances or not, it is inspiring all the same.
I can vouch as much as the next guy that fear motivates a lot of our actions. But we still have a choice of how we react to fear. Do we see it as a problem that we should create steps to overcome? Or are we overwhelmed by fear to the point where we bury our head in the sand?
I think it’s refreshing to see celebrities acting selflessly.
In the area of influence we are more similar to celebrities than most people think. We each have spheres of influence in our life and people that we can inspire. The choice is ours whether we do inspire them or choose to sit and complain.
What is something that makes you afraid? Is it human trafficking? Climate Change? Water and food for the poor?
Take DiCaprio as an example of what you can do to make a difference in a way you think will change the world. What sets celebrities like DiCaprio, Kutcher, and Damon apart from other celebrities who wrestle with fear is that they offer solutions to the problem that they face.
Fear is a great motivator. Let it motivate you to do something positive that helps others and society. Certain things that happen are out of our control. But there are steps each one of us can take to make a difference. The key is finding those steps and having the courage and determination to take them.
DiCaprio’s fear is essential because it allowed him to see a problem that needed to be fixed. Then a beautiful thing happened: he set out to fix it.