Saturday night my husband and I were invited to an event honoring Robert Redford. The event was called: “The Governor’s Salute to Robert Redford: A Utah Tribute to an American Icon.” The event kicked off with a group of Native American Indians performing a ceremonial dance in their full attire. It was incredible! It was the perfect way to kick off the night.
The reason for the event was that Robert Redford has done a tremendous amount of good for the state of Utah: From the Sundance resort, to the Sundance Film Festival, to Sundance Catalog, to the Sundance Institute, he has done much for economic development in Utah and has brought huge international attention to our state. Governor Herbert, Senator Orrin Hatch, and several other dignitaries attended the event. They did a beautiful tribute to Robert’s Film career, showing film clips from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jeremiah Johnson, The Sting, The Natural, Sneakers, and the list went on and on. His son, James Redford gave a beautiful tribute to his father and shared several personal stories about the father and the man, not just the actor. It was very touching. When Robert got up to give his acceptance speech for his award he admitted that awards make him feel very shy. It was clear he was telling the truth. It is nice to see someone so accomplished still show a strong sense of humility. I was really impressed with his authenticity in his speech. He spoke of the importance of leaving our world a good place for our children. He expressed his concern for the environment and the lack of respect so many have for it. It is clear how much he truly cares for the earth and the environment. You could feel his love of nature and the calming influence it had played in his life. It was a great night and a lot of fun. We were happy to be able to be a part of it.
He has a new movie out called “All is Lost” in which he is the sole actor in the entire movie and apparently it only has a handful of words spoken the entire script. They showed a preview and it looks amazing. I look forward to going to see it. People are saying it is his best film to date and given his long history of filmmaking that is saying something!
I thought a lot about Robert’s words on respect for our environment. It’s funny because I consider myself a very spiritual person, but the truth is that I focus mostly on improving our human spirits and I don’t often stop and think about improving the spirit of nature. God created every plant and tree and flower just like he created each of us, and so each plant and rock and flower would have a spirit of its own. I was grateful for that reminder. I don’t want to be a person who takes this world for granted. I want to respect it and improve it. I feel very blessed to live in Utah – I have lived all over the United States and I can honestly say that Utah has some of the most beautiful natural terrain in the world…from Sundance, to Zions Park, to Lake Powell (my personal favorite place on earth), and the list goes on and on. Tonight my husband and daughter and I went outside and planted the tree sapling that was given to us at Robert Redford’s dinner. I realize it will take years to grow, but at least I let it start growing tonight and now it is on its way to having its spirit grow into all it can be.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American
Today’s challenge is to respect nature and go out and plant something that will make this world a more beautiful place.