Some days I question what I do, some days I wonder if people will ever really understand the impact our crazy chemically-laden world is having on our planet, our children and our well-being. Then out of the blue I receive this amazing message from one of our incredible Health & Lifestyle Educator participants. And as I wiped tears from my eyes reading it I knew the impact we have together is huge and remarkable. Get a tissue ready!
So ladies I thought I would share a little story with you about the evolution of one of my workmates.
As some of you may be aware, I work in mining, in the port side of the operations. To paint a picture it basically means I operate giant machines, loading huge ships at up 8000 Tonnes an hour and other equipment to keep the plant running. I am the only female on a shift of “big tough” men and the only female some of these guys have ever worked with. It can be exhausting. The hard part is to be accepted as part of the crew while still maintaining my own feminine identity – those of you that have met me and have heard my potty mouth will know its a struggle!
One of the better jobs is in the train unloading station. It is where I get to spend hours upon hours listening to podcasts, play catch up with my homework & probably spend a little too much time on Facebook.
A few shifts a week I’ll have one guy that comes down to relieve me in the station he walks in the door and asks “so what are we being brainwashed with today.” I’ll tell him what I’m listening to & we’ll have a bit of a discussion or debate about it. It would usually end in him calling me a hippie. Apart from being a miner he grew up on a cane farm and farms cattle too.
One week I decided to introduce him to Kim Morrison. I played him the Wellness guys episode on Chemicals That Make Us Fat, Sick and Toxic.
He came into work the next week and said he went home and played it for his wife and daughter. And then he said “so it turns out we already had some of those Essential Oils thingies. And now each night before I go to bed I read a few pages of my book and just before I fall asleep, I put a couple of drops of Lavender on my pillow.”
Me “Oh my goodness! You have a ritual!”
Him “A what? A ritual? Nah, nah, it’s just something I do before I go to bed each night.”
A few weeks later he said “that talk on chemicals really got to me. Every night I massage my wife’s feet with lotion, it’s something I have always done. Lately I haven’t been able to do it knowing that the lotion could be so bad for her, so I went and got some bees wax and some coconut oil and made my own lotion and I’ve started using that on her instead.”
Fast forward a few more weeks… “You’re bloody sending me mad with this stuff! On my days off I found borer’s in my trees and instead of spraying them like I normally would I got a pin and poked them through their holes in the tree. It was embarrassing! You know I used to sell pesticides for a living right?”
After having him listen to a podcast on sugar “you can’t play me this! I’m a cane farmer! What am I going to do now?!”
We have had many heated discussions on chemicals, pesticides & herbicides. Roundup was one that kept coming up, with him saying “you’re being brainwashed by all this hey, this is all fear-mongering. Round up is a safe chemical, trust me, I used to sell it, I’ve sat through seminars on the stuff…” I played him the Up for a chat episode after the MINDD Forum & another interesting podcast of wheat by the Good Doctors. The lights started to come on. He came back after days off and said “it turns out I’m the one that has been brain washed. If only you knew the conferences & seminars I sat through on round up. I was told it was safe I didn’t know what they were really doing with it. I didn’t know it would end up in our food.”
Now for the really exciting news… In the past few weeks he said “you know, I’ve been losing sleep because of you… My parents are getting old and they need to sell their farm. I would hate to see it go to someone else but how could I invest in another sugar cane farm knowing what I know now? Also all of this talk of conservation and chemical free living has made me realise I don’t want to hand over a farm to my children one day, there is enough of them around. I want to hand over something special. I think I want to regenerate that land and turn it into a nature reserve. There is already a large part of uncleared land, creeks and a lake I want to turn it into some form of Eco-retreat so others can enjoy it and it’ll be there for generations to come.”
How freaking amazeballs is that!!!!
So Kim Morrison never for a second question whether what you are doing is making an impact. It truly is. One 30 minute podcast you made a couple of years ago may lead to a nature reserve being created for generations to come.
It is only early days yet but I couldn’t help but share 🙂 He said he wants me to be his consultant on this so if anyone has any ideas send them my way. And you never know maybe one day we can host a Sparkle event there – it would be fitting!
Thanks – CP
PS – I think there is a lesson in this for all of us to use our voices and share our knowledge no matter how unlikely the recipient (ie – big tough miner!) because we never know what seeds of change may be planted if we do!
(Names have been withheld to protect the fact this amazing man has not quite broken it to his family yet! We will keep you posted when he does!)