Andrew Muir

What / Who is God?

I do believe there is a greater positive force than us and that whatever religion one is, there is a God. Whilst I am more aligned to Christianity, I find spiritual fulfilment in natural landscapes. It is not a coincidence that almost all the great spiritual leaders, including Jesus, spent significant time in the wilderness. The ultimate cathedral is in nature.

What happens when you die?

I don’t think too much about it. Except that I know how fragile life can be and it can be taken away in an instant. I think the afterlife is more about the collective spirit to be called on in need. I often feel the presence of past loved ones.

How would you spend your last 24 hours?

I would be with the people that I have loved in a place that is special to me – preferably a wild landscape. Somehow somewhere beautiful completes the cycle of life.

What moves you?

Human spirit – to reach beyond themselves.

What are you afraid of?

Whilst human beings are generally positive, there is a deeply threatening cruel dark side of our race which can manifest as unemotional violence and I am very afraid of that.

Define success?

Success can be measured on the ability to reach beyond self, on the ability to influence others to affect change in a meaningful way. Success for me is not materially based. It has to do with action, not words or wealth. Those are easy to dispense.

Who do you admire?

I think you need to know someone well before you can admire them. For me, there are a few: Dr Ian Player, my wife, Margot, and Mampela Rampela. They are extraordinary human beings and I know them deeply. Having said that, Desmond Tutu would be a great dinner guest and I would love to get to know him.

If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?


Describe your life in one word?

Awesome, and having walked on my own path.

Describe yourself in four words?

Loyal, romantic, principled and selfish.

How do you think others describe you?

It’s not important to me.

List a skill you don’t have but would love?

To be a handyman.

A surprising fact about you?

That I had to wear foot braces as a child as my feet were growing out. You can imagine my childhood with both a serious stutter and a pair of braces!!

What does money mean to you?

Raising money for charity is my business so whilst it is important, I try to use money as a leverage and opportunity for change. I believe in a hand up and not a handout.

Do you have a question for God?

Why do good people need to suffer? Why do terrible things, like natural disasters, occur in the poorest of areas?

What is your greatest wish?

That we can all live in harmony with ourselves and with nature. That we can restore the balance between the environment and ourselves.

What is your current state of mind?

Worried about the fact that we are totally out of balance. The sustainability of natural resources has now reached the tipping point and we should all be very, very worried.

One great lesson in life?

Dr Ian Player once said to me that if you can truly change one person’s attitude for the better, through action, then you can change the world.

Any regrets?

No. I don’t believe in regret. We need mistakes to learn and grow.

What advice do you have for someone starting out as an Environmentalist?

Get as broader and wider understanding of life as you possibly can. Don’t narrow yourself down to one particular area, as everything is connected – from the micro to the macro systems. And learn from nature. Fish Eagles know no boundaries. Think global and act local.

What do you still want to achieve?

So much but it’s in the doing, not the talking.

Define what you do?

I am a social and environmental change agent.

Are you living your life’s purpose?

Yes, 100%.

When was the last time you experienced something for the first time?

Probably something new every day. My curiosity leads me to a new experience on a daily basis.

How would you like to be remembered?

As always trying to improve myself and always growing.

What do you think of South Africa?

I love that SA has the ability to look at itself in the mirror, warts and all, and still have the space to laugh at ourselves. We are a reflective nation and a work in progress.

What do you think of the world today?

Off center, and needing to return to core values and beliefs.

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

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