A better way

This hummingbird feeder has been a source of joy and fascination for us this summer. We get visited either by one hummingbird frequently or several hummingbirds a day. They are amazing examples of God’s wonderful creation and provide us with entertainment daily at breakfast.

When we went to the Aviary in Pittsburgh we went to a bird show. Watching birds was fun and David really enjoyed it. However, the woman who was the main bird handler and narrator of the show had an obviously set spiel that she went through about the birds. The spiel had a heavy subtext of environmentalism.

I didn’t really mind the environmentalism from an information standpoint. But what struck me was that it wasn’t very interesting. When the narrator was giving her  main spiel she had one tone of voice and talked quickly. Clearly she had memorized the spiel and knew it well. I couldn’t tell you whether or not what she said or not was accurate because I could feel my eyes glaze over as soon as she started to talk.

On the other hand, the few times she she broke out of her narrative she became a different person. Her voice changed and became more natural. She  became more animated and clearly had a true passion for the beautiful birds in the room.

My thought was that if you really wanted to inspire a group of kids to be environmentalists and bird lovers, you would want the second woman. You would want them to fall in love with the macaw. Or eagle. Or hummingbird. Or the blue-tongued skink. Or the elephant. Or the peeper frogs at the wetlands. Or the maple tree in the backyard.

Fall in love. Be curious. Watch. Observe. Learn.

And then I think the desire to protect and preserve what you already know and love will follow.

One thought on “A better way

  1. Good thoughts! I’ve noticed this in children’s books about nature too. An interesting story, written by someone in love with the subject, is so much more affecting than a spiel.

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