Now 30-something, Ocean Robbins began his career as an activist at age 16 when he founded YES (Youth for Environmental Sanity) as a platform for cultivating young activists like himself. Still an icon for youthful activism, he continues his work today with ever greater verve, conviction, and depth.
WIE's Maura O'Connor caught up with Ocean to find out how he stays so positive in a cynical postmodern world and how he thinks the younger generation is managing to cope. The foundation for it all, he replies, rests on a person's willingness to be a bridge—a bridge spanning the gap between our highest and most inspired possibilities and the harsh realities of life. For Ocean, the challenge—and the reward—is in continuously striving to bring the two into greater and greater alignment.
As the conversation progresses, Ocean's answers morph into eloquent digressions, anecdotes, and stories from his life and career. He is a rare and inspiring example of someone whose positive commitment to life is expressed not only through giving to others, but by giving so that others might become givers themselves.
Recorded on: 7/21/2004
Gen X and Gen Y
Spiritual and Social Activism