Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oprah and the Lorax

Today I went to my son's classroom to talk to them about the environment.  Their teacher knew of my interests in recycling and such, and thought it would tie in well to their current curriculum.

It went really well.  I read them The Lorax - that wonderful Dr. Seuss book about environmental destruction at the hands of industry.  It's a fantastic book.  If you have children and haven't yet read it to them, you need to.  If you don't have children and haven't read it, you need to.  (I got the copy from the Wetaskiwin Library, but of all the books I should own, this is one).

We talked about all sorts of things - from recycling to single use plastics to alternative items they can use.  It's great because Daniel has been with the same kids for the past 3 years and I'm getting to know them all, so there is a certain familiarity with them.  And they are getting older and were so good at listening and putting their hands up.  I was so proud of all of them.

But what is interesting is that whenever I talk to anyone about the environment, invariably I get people's guilt.  Their teacher was talking to me about some of the things she does - and it was obvious that she was feeling guilty and needing to rationalize why she was doing certain things.  But also talking about the changes she had made in her life to improve some things - which is fantastic.  Funny, but I get people's enviroguilt all of the time.  (I like that word.  I think I'll coin it!).

I don't mind getting people's guilt.  Much better than anger.  And it means I'm making them think ... which is almost always a good thing.

So my advice to anyone is that if you feel guilty about it, change it!  If you can.  Some things we simply cannot change.  But if you can, do it.  If you don't feel guilty about something, then it's either okay to keep doing it, or you're not aware that it isn't okay to do.  And when you become aware, change it!

Here's the thing ...  I was watching Oprah in her farewell address yesterday, and it was obvious at one point that she was looking back 25 years and was seeing some things she did in the past that she simply would no longer do (who doesn't do that once in a while!).  And her statement was this: 

"When we know better, we do better". 

So that's the lesson, isn't it ... When you know to do better ... DO IT.

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