19 February 2008

Saving the planet

Our local newspaper, The Spokesman Review, has gone the way of blogs for many topics. I don't know how many people actually read them, but a former colleague is one of the moderators, and I often go on to post things. Sometimes they create a bit of 'anger' in me or a reactionary response, but mostly it is food for thought. Her recent question had to do with 'eco moms' and my response is below. I wonder sometimes, if Grace had been my first child, how I would have responded to things differently. It is after all a much different response then I might have given five years ago.

You know, I think it's a really interesting topic and one certainly to bring up. I have gone from one end to the other and hopefully landed somewhere in the middle. When my kids were young, we were in a mom's group and we all sat around breastfeeding our babies, changing our cloth diapers, sharing organic snacks, and I think, feeling pretty smug about our choices.

But I never felt quite comfortable because I remember thinking, "So if a mom walks in here with a bottle and paper diapers and a bag of Cheetos," are we just going to toss her out? Of course, it didn't happen because like-minded moms ban together and we were never around bottle-feeding, cheeto eating moms.

And on some level, I felt like I was missing out on something that maybe those moms could teach me. And I wonder about that now in conjunction to this question.

I think the 'eco movement' is good. I think we need to look at the bigger picture and we need to send out a message that enough is enough. But we can't do it all at once and we can't see it all done in our lifetime, and I think it can all happen, one conversation at a time, at the dinner table with our kids. And it can happen when we use cloth napkins; and when we grab that paper diaper, we can be glad that we have the resources now to purchase the diapers and perhaps tonight at the dinner table with the cloth napkin, we can make a difference with the children in front of us.

I just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird last month and I also reminded of the timeliness of the novel written almost 50 years ago. As Atticus Finch says so wisely, "If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

For me, this holds true today as it does any day.

1 comment:

Virginia said...

Sarah: You are such a wise, thoughtful woman. I wish there were more parents out there like you...