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John Muir - A Great Scot

From Friends of John Muir's Birthplace, September, 2009

September, 2009 - A Scottish television station, STV, wants to find out who Scotland really thinks is that country's biggest hero. The criterion for inclusion is: "anyone born in Scotland or anyone who lived or lives in Scotland and who has played a significant and lasting contribution to Scotland or humanity at large."

John Muir has been included in the list of nominations and will feature in a major new STV series in November, 2009. STV viewers will then be able to vote for the person they think is the Greatest ever Scot. The winner will be revealed on STV on St Andrew's Day (November 30, 2009) and will be commemorated forever in a major new work of art. Details of the program, including Muir’s nomination can be found on the STV website.

Long-time John Muir enthusiast Harold Wood, webmaster for the John Muir Exhibit website, contributed the following argument to STV of why he thought Muir should be in the running for the accolade of Greatest Scot:

“Scotland certainly produced great literary figures, scientists, political leaders, philanthropists, etc. But it is not enough to evaluate these persons by their historical body of work alone, whether it is writing, poetry, art, or scientific discovery.

To me, the important criteria is which of their ideas or actions are most relevant to our world today; how their ideas and actions are most crucially needed today. Using that criteria, John Muir leads the list.

In an era where our world civilization's survival is threatened by global warming, where technology threatens to overwhelm our daily lives so much that we spend more time on computers and cell phones than enjoying the sunset or a walk in the woods, John Muir's message is not only the most relevant, but the most inspirational.

His message and actions continue to inspire hugely needed groups like the one he founded in America, the Sierra Club, and the John Muir Trust in Scotland, as they try to tell the world how important it is, as Muir said, to "climb the mountains" and to really understand the most fundamental principle of ecology as Muir stated: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."

The entire green movement owes everything to John Muir, and the National Parks that he inspired as a system are now a global phenomenon that are increasingly recognized as "America's Best Idea."

Scotland's John Muir transcends Scotland - he is the ultimate figure of importance in the world today, given where our global civilization is at this crossroads in history.”

See Also:

John Muir Recognized as One of Scotland's Greats - John Muir Trust (September 8, 2009) - Craig Collinson, Producer of the Greatest Scot said: “Muir seemed an obscure choice at first, but the more I read about him the more I was drawn to him. His writings have become increasingly significant over time and his message is more important today than ever.” Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust said: “We are extremely proud that John Muir has been included as one of the Greatest Scots. The Trust could not have chosen a more appropriate inspiration than Muir, in his lifetime he was a great advocate for wild land. He was far ahead of his time and he has left a tremendous legacy for us and everybody who cares about the wild.”

The Greatest Scot will be named on St Andrews Day, Monday 30 November 2009.

Source: "John Muir - A Great Scott" - Newsletter of the Friends of John Muir's Birthplace (November, 2009)

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