Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Common Denominator: Food

I'm watching a nature program this morning on PBS. I love PBS because it inspires me to learn and helps me to teach my grandchildren.

Once a year, off the coast of South Africa, the warm water of the north siddles up to the cold water of the south. The waters remain in their own realm neither influencing the other. During this time, thousands of sardines visit the area creating a silver blanket that lures preditors from both cold and warm waters. Seal lions, dolphins, cormorants, sharks, all ignoring each other gorge themselves on this delicacy. Those who would pray on each other dine side by side. Only when the whale comes into the waters to feed do the other step, er, swim aside.

As children, we were raised watching Lowell Thomas and his adventures to places we never knew existed. We saw naked natives with plates in their ears and lips. We saw the jungle teeming with animals. His adventures were ours. I raised my children watching Marlin Perkins on Wild Kingdom. Now I do what I can to expose my grandchildren to a world beyond their own through movies and PBS.

Maybe I can make a small difference in the world by helping two small girls to understand that we can swim in waters with those who would gobble us up especially if we are all hungry and needing to focus on more than agression. Maybe we can be that big whale that slows down the action and demands that everyone share. Perhaps what we do as parents and grandparents can give this earth of ours a chance. We are the teachers but a teachers is only as good as the knowledge he or she can impart. Only as good as the methods they use to teach.

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