Do it at all costs
I’ll cut to the chase: If something inside of you is telling you to do something, but at the same time you feel this huge tingle (or tidal wave) of Fear – DO IT AT ALL COSTS.
In December 2019 I was with my family in LA, when the bushfires in Australia were in full effect. It was great to finally reconnect with family however, I was having trouble sleeping. Having been trained as a wildlife vet in Australia and having spear-headed bushfire response preparation in the state of Victoria as the Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s bushfire response plan manager, I felt that I was actually in a position to help out.
So without any particular plans, I literally just got on a plane and went. Within 24hrs of landing I was helping animals in need and for the next 3 weeks I worked tirelessly with some of the most passionate and capable people & orgs I’ve come across, to help the animals coming out of the fires. In many ways it was a life changing experience for me.
Quite by accident this is where my TikTok journey began. In the field I brought along my mobile phone, taking short film clips on my phone.
On this particular moment I was recovering a baby koala (from an incident not directly related to fires), grabbed her teddy bear which gives them comfort as they wake up, then paused and decided to turn my phone on to take this video.
I posted it on my TikTok (@vetpaulramos) that night and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning it had been viewed almost a 1/2 million times and I knew that something was happening. All up, this moment was seen on social media channels and news outlets well over 20 million times across the world (including 11+million on my channel) and so began my TikTok journey.
I had no idea that this 9 seconds would mean so much to people. It was just one of many moments in the field. But it was a snap shot of the truth, raw and unedited. I know for some who saw it, a seed was planted that this is not right, that we are not taking care of this world that is our home too. It is these seeds, these little moments of growth, that motivate me to keep on going.