Inspiring Spoken Word from Prince Ea

Feeling a little bummed about hate speech from Donald Trump? Holiday consumerism got you down? If you are needing a little inspiration this holiday season, look no further then Prince Ea’s newest video, Man vs. Earth.

Prince Ea is a 27-year-old spoken word poet whose art focuses on social and environmental justice. His videos, which have gained millions of views on YouTube, pair inspirational lyrics with beautiful images. In his latest video, Man vs. Earth, he frames human impact in planetary terms: if the existence of the Earth were condensed into 24 hours, human’s existence would be the last 3 seconds of that 24 hours.

And look at what we have managed to do with that 3 seconds: species extinction, war, and global warming, to name a few.

But Prince does not linger in gloom and doom. He quickly reminds us of the incredible gift that life on this planet is.

“We were given so much, the only planet with life–1 in a million, no really, one in a billion trillion trillion. (…) So how are we not a miracle?”

This is a powerful invocation; I have countless times heard people referred to humans as a virus on this planet, or the scourge of the Earth. This strikes me as not just hopeless and disempowered, but down right unproductive. The more we self-identity as a destructive species, the more we will act that way.

But to remember that we are a miracle offers the opportunity to act like a miracle. Prince invites us into a bigger way of being, of acknowledging the wonder of our existence and our innerconnectedness and living from that place.

Prince’s video helps us find agency amidst climate change; he reminds us that, as much as we are the problem, we are also the solution. “It is our duty to protect Mother Nature from those who refuse to see her beauty. (…) When enough people come together, we too will make waves and wash the world into a new era.”

Another thing I love about Prince Ea is the fresh approach to environmentalism. The face of the American environmental movement is often white and middle class and lets face it, can sometimes be a bit dry. Prince blends science with art with hiphop into a compelling message about taking action.

There is so much madness in this world and we always have a choice about how we respond. I honor those who choose hope, action and art. Thank you, Prince Ea, for being a voice of inspiration and sanity.

And thanks for making environmentalism a little bit cooler!

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