It’s a cliché but true that the underwater world is Earth’s final frontier, and the PADI family leads its exploration. This is significant, because for the first time in human history, our survival relies in part on exploration. This is because the oceans — inner space — anchor the global ecosystem. We must understand and preserve them to survive. When you teach people to dive, you transform them into explorers, but you also teach them the value of what they see.
The “new life forms” they find underwater thrive in a different world, but we all realise it is not a world apart from our own, but integrally linked to it. Sadly, it’s often a beer can or a patch of anchor-ravaged reef that reminds us how the terrestrial world affects the subaquatic world. Diving breeds an army of advocates who join us in championing the preservation of the underwater world.
New divers form ranks with us because, once they see how fragile yet wonderful the underwater world is, they value it and want to protect it. But our main motivation isn’t diving. It’s our kids. My fantasy (and yours, I suspect) for humanity’s future is a healthy, abundant world in which my children, your children and their children will live. I believe that PADI’s deeper purpose is transforming people into advocate-explorers who passionately examine and protect our fragile seas so that we will see this fantasy become reality. Sci-fi movies are fun, but that’s as far as they go. Diving is also fun, but it’s real. That’s why you make a difference.