THE ART OF (REALLY) HEARING: As I Learned By Listening To A Child
“No thank you, they kill turtles.”
That’s what my 9 year old nephew innocently, yet assuredly told the waiter when the latter asked if our table needed straws with our drinks. I felt proud of the boy for loving the environment, thought it adorable beyond belief, then the food came and Portuguese sausages, fried rice and eggs over medium took over my brain.
Food can do that to me.
A few days later I’m patting myself on the back because I still managed to drink three bottles of water at work, even though I forgot my Hydroflask at home. Then a random thought popped up.
Three. Plastic. Bottles (of water).
Do you ever have moments when someone’s telling you something and you are hearing what they’re saying at the time, but since you’re a “late listener”, you get the message tardy-like, so days, sometimes even weeks/months/years later?
That was the case with my nephew. I finally LISTENED to what he was saying days later, after the fact and after he said it; and what said made me sick to my stomach.
Why are we adults so selfish? I feel like we really effed these kids. Why does a 9 year old have to ask our waiter not to bring our table straws so said straws won’t strangle turtles in the ocean? That child should be talking to us about the soccer game he had just played.
I thought of different ways that I may be able to do my part and at least meet my nephew (and niece & other children tasked to save us) halfway, since he’s saying no to straws and all. Here are some things I can start doing:
Cut down on buying my daily morning coffee. My husband is all for this idea, savings-wise; AND, all the plastic containers I won’t be collecting (I order cold brew - for shame). *Edited: or bring a reusable container like folks are already doing. I’m sure I’ll find one for blended drinks as well.
While I’m cutting down on things, decrease my take out, deliveries and overall eating out. My happy bank account will be doing gymnastics like Aly Wong doing gymnastics like Katelyn Ohashi; and as a small business owner who just entered the entrepreneurial game again, this type of cutback should be a regular practice anyway.
Bring a small, empty tupperware-type container with me everywhere. Leave in car. When I eat out, put in my purse and should I have leftovers, use that to take my food home.
When we were kids, our sense of wonder and frankly, our gut instinct were more in tuned. We took our breaths the right way (from our diaphragm) without needing yoga teachers to remind us how. We just did.
So give yourself another point of view and listen to the little bits of wonder children sometimes like to throw at us adults once in a while. Just once in a while, though.
And this may be a coincidence but said environment-loving nephew was born on Earth Day, April 22.