I find children tell it like it is and this has been brought home to me on a couple of occasions the last few days and it is extremely refreshing and thought provoking.
I had my two youngest grandchildren with me and we went food shopping. Strolling up and down the aisles, as you do when you have 2 youngsters in tow, with the two of them nattering away, when Aidan (age 8) turns to me and says , “Granny I ate some bacon yesterday, and I am lucky that I haven’t got listeria” and then went on to tell me the dangers of eating processed food. When I was 8 I didn’t even understand the term “processed food”. Not sure where he has garnered all the information, at school from his teacher, on the news or just listening to conversations around him.
Next up, 5 year old Eden. I am sitting on the deck, with the requisite sundowner glass of red wine, children playing in the garden. I call them over to offer some biltong and on eating a few pieces, Eden with her head on the side says ” Granny you know that an animal had to die for us to be eating this!” She looks at the packet ” see this bull, he was killed, we are eating a bull!” This is a 5 year olds understanding of how the world works (or rather doesn’t work) and her comment hit me to my core. I am a passionate anti gun/hunting advocate and here I am eating an animal. Yes, I have thought of going vegetarian in the past, especially after watching some of those horrific clips of how animals are treated and slaughtered all for us to be able to eat biltong and bacon, and have stuck to it for a week or two and then the fall off the band wagon when confronted with a juicy steak. Somehow when buying meat products at the shops and the meat is packed in sterile plastic packaging, it is hard to associate the lamb chop with a fluffy little lamb. (But this topic is for another day).
It takes the unfiltered view of a child to have long hard look at ourselves and the double standards we entertain. Ironically, as I put these thoughts to paper, in the background is a news report on the March for our Lives rally, where youngsters are bravely voicing their views on this broken world we live in. Some quotes “People have said I am a tool of some nameless adult” “we are not here for bread crumbs, we are here for real change” and “the best way forward, is to keep pushing forward”. These brave voices of youngsters, who see the world differently from us cynical, jaded and most oft negative adults, are unfiltered and should be heeded.
So as adults, I recommend we all take a step back and take a re-look at how we live our lives, through the untainted eyes of a child.
Photo courtesy – yourblackworld.net