A Film by Bill Benenson & Gene Rosow. More at DIRT! The Movie.

When confronted with adversity, when the odds are stacked up against you, you can either stand aside - helpless, frozen with fear - or do the best you can. Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai stood up to seemingly insurmountable challenges all her life, and won. Like the hummingbird in this story; to give up was never an option for her. Her spirit lives on in the millions of trees she helped plant.


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  • lis

    I will be a hummingbird. Lovely.

  • Guillermina

    So true and inspiring!! I will be a humming bird too!!! Thanks for reminding us that we can all become one!

  • Louise

    reminding us that just because we arent somebody of mass influence in the world, doesn't mean we can't do whatever is in our capacity in our small life, and that each of us did that, the momentum would collectively influence the changes we wish to see.

  • Madhavakrishna

    Amazing fighting spirit, Do your karma and leave rest to the god, Karmanyay vadikarsayai ma phala sukhadachana

  • Melissa

    Exactly! Always do the best you can.. Beautiful words to live by.

  • Sashi Meenrajan

    Instead of remaining a helpless spectator, I would love to be like the humming bird, doing what I can to the best of my knowledge, to the best of my capacity. In Bhagwat Gita Krishna tells us to do our assigned duties without expectation of its result.

  • patjos

    I look and I see, not just myself here, but over 50 hummingbirds have taken the time to respond to this video with a positive comment. And just look at all of the 150,000+ views!!! Thank you all :)))

  • Colleen

    With the Coronai Virus, racism and loss of our environment it truly feels like a huge forest fire. This story reflects the strength and hope we all have and it gave me a little push.

  • Cobb

    Take a risk. Be more curious. Ask a question. Give a try at speaking truth through your power.

  • Rajeev

    No problem is bigger than the courage of a man. We can do almost everything if we true desire.

  • Lily

    I will be a hummingbird...I will do the best I can!

  • Mish

    Together we can do so much....one by one by one.

  • donna

    One step forward and never 2 steps back.. its better to be like the animals and stand still in hope and watch those you aspire to be like that they may give you the faith to try your best in consistent adversity to never give up.

  • Linda

    I will do a little bit every day....doing the best I can....and never give up...I will be a hummingbird too..smile, be kind, pick up litter, radiate positive light...

  • Allen

    Reminds me of the main character in Albert Camus' novel "The Plague". He works tirelessly for months on end being the best doctor that he can in the face of an epidemic. He never develops an effective treatment, much less a cure, but he does what a doctor is supposed to do - he steps up. Various other characters show their true selves by the different ways that they deal with the situation.

  • Cathy Lea

    I hope my children and grandchildren will be like the hummingbird in this story and be all they can be to provide this planet with never ending hope, faith in what one "can do" attitude and by living by example. Thank you for your contribution to my dream for this earth school.

  • Constance

    I am that One, that one it only takes to make a difference. It only takes one to make a difference. I am a Hummingbird.

  • david marsden

    Just do your best.

  • DEZ

    No matter how small of an effort is made, you are doing more than if you had decided to do nothing. I will strive to always do as much as I can, I will take pride in knowing that I at least did something.

  • Yvonne

    To never give in and never up....just be the best person I can be is the beginning of change

  • sophie

    ... I am doing the best I can ... I will be a hummingbird!"

  • Fatime

    I lie it I like the birds job to do what he can and think that usefull

  • Donna

    we tend to stand back and think our small contribution could not possibly be of any help. This story is an inspiration.. Thank You!!!!!

  • juan

    it's inspire me that we should do our best to prevent the global warm.

  • Alberta

    Nice video, I really like it. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Chris Docker

    Doing good works may or may not help others or the planet, but it can define who we are and how we will be remembered. It gives one the chance to feel good about oneself in a good way. And if you don't succeed, it is better to live and die for a noble cause than not. Someone else may become inspired by you.

  • ann

    I loved Wangari's yellow dress...and the reminder that doing the best we can at any given time is enough.

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  • Jana Sheeder

    Everyone can do SOMEthing, no matter how insignificant you think you are or how small of an act it seems. Every good deed is a step in the right direction. My company,www.1800yachtcharters.com , helps others with every yacht charter that we book. I challenge other companies to join us in making a difference. We're all part of a big picture. Help paint that picture today...

  • lisa

    we all have the power to make a difference in any circumstance!

  • ellen

    Never give up. Even when you don't know what to do, never give up. Your intuition will know what's best for you. Your internal trust, the you inside, will know what to do. Just wait a little longer, don't give in and don't give up. You are worth it.

  • Cindy

    The great reminder to do something....even a small drop of water, works.

  • Olive P

    Ms Maathai, thank you for the building block of life. Try try try again until ya get it right! We are not perfect, but; we can strive to get it right. Put out the fires that are placed in front of us.

  • KG

    I will continue to support Al-Anon to share my re gained determination

  • Tribhuwan

    I liked the spirit it conveys- do what you can!!

  • Edel cumming

    This is it, in a nutshell! If we all do our little bit, the best that we can, we will make change happen!

  • vikramaditya

    Newer give up

  • Dan

    What do I need to do to be the best I can?

  • chakri


  • LaughinYogi

    No matter how small we think we are we can either sit back and watch or we can do whatever we can! Change comes from Doing!

  • Melissa

    Be the change you want to see in the world! Be a hummingbird ...

  • Sreenivasulu

    don't wait for any body to help to protective of our nation you will try for that don't think you small or big

  • Sue Schell

    What an inspiring, story. Thank you so much for making a film that I can share with people to make them realize that each of us can make a difference to save our environment!

  • Donna

    A strong parallel to what I recently encounted. People who just watch when help is needed and even have the audacity to laugh instead of doing what the hummming bird did. Such SAD Creatures!

  • Prakash

    I may be insignificant, but my contributions shall be significant. The lesson , I learnt from the humming bird

  • Crystal

    Hummingbirds are one of the many wonders of nature ... as are we human beings. We too can make the difference - despite size, age, status, color, belief system. One soul with passion and will power is all it takes. Be the hummingbird!

  • Eric

    So true, and it works. We can make a difference.

  • hassie

    You are a hummingbird! While others may stand around and do nothing, you on the other hand will put on your big girl boots, sell your old bed and make some new money! You are moving forward in happiness and love. Love the life you use to know and embrace the new one coming your way. Adventures galore my sister! No one is holding you back so move forward. Put a smile on your face and just observe how many people look at you and notice how beautiful you are! When you leave this earth, you leave it the same way a peasant or king departs. Bare naked with only your soul exposed. It doesn't matter how it looks to others, what matters is the way you deal with it. You will be fine even though this next step is a hard one to take. You have overcome bigger obstacles in your life and have landed on your feet. I have great faith in you always! I love you and will always be here for you. I will see you in July and take you out for your 56th birthday. Love you bunches-Hassie

  • Nisam

    see, we don't have any control over what happened to us like the wild fire here in this video..but we have complete control over our response to the happening like what the humming bird did....

  • Pyper

    I showed this to my elementary aged "Green Team" to show them we can all do our part, by always doing the best we can. Thank you.

  • norm

    Like the hummingbird I will do as best as I can!that which inspire me today ..

  • Derrick Brimm

    The things it setout to do for the environment and ones life style to achive the best out of life.I think it is good.

  • bilkis

    what an inspirational story, shows how a motivated person can make all the difference to the environment and ofcourse in turn it inspires others to come forward and save the environment, we need more people like Maathia to save us from global warning

  • Judy Wootan

    The fire didn't go out. There wasn't a miraculous ending. just a lesson It was a bit like the starfish story. Things getting done, people being saved, just one small bit at a time. Who notices? No one has to notice, but the hummingbird knows he's doing something.

  • Barb Fuhrwerk

    This is the long sung story of Mother Teresa and Ghandi and all our wonderful gurus...do what is right in front of you, patiently, kindly, regardless of how insignificant that may be. It is the old snowflake story...it may take the billionth one to actually break the branch. WE ARE ALL SO IMPORTANT.

  • Rosemary

    The tiny hummingbird represents, within everyone,our human potential for greatness. That potential only appears small and fragile because we have inadvertently placed our focus on the disaster, the illusion of outside forces as being greater. In truth, it is our own inherent divinity,represented by the hummingird, that is most powerful. We are awakening to the Truth.

  • Marina

    Good story. Never give up, do your best and be an inspiration for others!!!

  • Sagarika Ghosal

    I watched this on a day when i was feeling like everything i was doing was insignificant & just watching this movie made me believe that i could make a difference, i just need to keep trying & not give up.Inspiring & awesome, thank you Wangari!

  • Connie Edwards

    This is absolutely true and inspiring. No matter how others make you feel less significant, do and be the best that you can as long as you know that you have made a difference with good faith effort. This can be more powerful that one who is not making an effort.

  • Maria R Vargas

    Very inspiring indeed... If each of us in the World do the best we can, a better World is definitively posible... No matter the odds, I will always keep the firm belief that a "best World is possible" And the Good Angels and Archangels of God are there to help us do the best we can...

  • Kati Winnegrad

    Are we all doing the BEST we can? Each and every day I remind myself to "Be the Change I Wish to See in the World", as Gandhi so wisely put it. Kati Winnegrad Costa Rica

  • Ashanti

    This is beautiful today at work i was thinking about how significant I was and realized i can only do what I can and that is giving my all!

  • nadine

    the sweetness of wangari's face and voice as she tells this inspiring story nearly brought tears to my eyes

  • sachi

    Oh my god ! Amazed to see this video ! loved it .. there is a KABIR song on the same story.. Have seen this story now in the form of a song/ a puppet show and finally a film ! AWESOME!!

  • lilia crisostomo

    I made connection to the video. It reminded me of another story about a bird which says, "I may be small and weak but one does what one can.One does what one can." ...'like it much...thanks...

  • kate


  • enard

    like Milya, i hope it inspires all to do and be the best they can for the planet as well as for the people/neighbors/parents/government. and as Karthik says, "an inspiration to take action!" in one's life for the benefit of all, shape your life by focusing on what is in front...the fire. don't stop to talk about it too much, move forward into the dampness of reality, embracing it all the while.

  • shanthi

    it taught me not to lose hope even in the adverse circumstances.

  • elijah

    it inspires in our work...

  • nagendra


  • Karthik

    Wow! This is such a simple yet powerful reminder of what we can do to make a difference in the world. An inspiration to take action!

  • ArunChikkop

    This short movie. Slapped me on the face...

  • Katie

    This was a great inspiration to do even the little amount i can & to REMAIN POSITIVE instead of being overwhelmed & feel helpless & defeated. :-))))))

  • zoefotoni

    It speaks to a deep truth and life pratice.

  • Fateyma Wyne

    I wish to be the same-As courageous and as pure by heart_I'll be the humming Bird Sole Deo Gloria

  • miiya

    Beautifully told. Makes a person, young and old, think about themselves, about what they can do to help the forests, animals, lands, oceans and humans in,of,below,upon and within our planet we call earth. Our mother earth.

  • Page 1

  • Wangari Maathai did her best. Always. Read about her 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Learn about the Green Belt Movement, an organization started by the lone warrior, Wangari Maathai.
  • Make a resolve to never back down in the face of adversity, however daunting it might seem.

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