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Forest Man: Inspiration for those who wish to change the world

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One Indian man has planted a forest bigger than Manhattan's Central Park

Since 1979, Jadav Payeng has been single-handedly planting a forest. It is now larger than Central Park. He has taken a desert wasteland and turned it into a lush area that has become home to a variety of animals including elephants and tigers. Approaching the forest is like looking at the skyline of a city. It is easy to make that connection, considering they’re both man-made.

It got easier for him as time went on, because the trees he grew would supply their own seeds to aid his work. Still, the video shows him transplanting branches into patches of soil in hope that they will take root and become trees themselves. It looks maddeningly slow, without a guarantee it will thrive. This man is blessed with patience and possessed of a determined mind.

The humble gardener seeks no fame or fortune as he wanders the landscape caring for the plants and animals. He seems to derive enough satisfaction from just wandering the oasis which he knows like the back of his hand.

Mr. Payeng has shown us what one person can do in the world; what a difference one life can make. His work embodies this papal message:

“We are all responsible for the protection and care of the environment. This responsibility knows no boundaries. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity it is important for everyone to be committed at his or her proper level, working to overcome the prevalence of particular interests.”
–Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2010

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