29 March 2010

A Lesson in the Hazards of Making Assumptions!

We presented yesterday at a Green Living seminar, and not only did it seem like not very many showed up, but several left within the first hour. Only a fraction of the number registered actually attended.

It was still a nice crowd, and the people who remained to the end were very committed to learning about the connection between what we eat and the climate change emergency — and going veg/vegan as an important part of the solution. They heard about the health impacts of our addiction to meat, the environmental impacts of the chemical-intensive livestock industry, economic alternatives to livestock farming, and lots of different tips for how to be a healthy veg/vegan. Check these out at Beautiful Earth.org.

But all through the seminar, I found myself wondering why so few people had come, and why such a large handful had left early on. Were they bothered by the "bad news"? Were we saying things they didn't want to hear?

Alas, folks, never make assumptions. It turns out that the host university was charging $18 for an afternoon of parking — and that's why so many people decided not to come, or to leave early. Several of them phoned one of the organizers to let him know!

So, the lesson for me is to "be here now" with the participants who can and do attend! The people who don't come — or who leave early — could have a hundred different reasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?