Wow, first of all, thanks to everyone who wrote me about the launch last week. I am ever-grateful that you are taking the time to read what I have written, ponder it a bit and respond with such gracious enthusiasm for the messages I have shared on moregreenmoms thus far. If I could, I would write every day as I am endlessly intrigued by how this story now permeates through a trip to the dry cleaner, a visit to the grocery, a run by the beach and a moment of idle in the carpool line (please turn off your engines).
But until I can manage a consistent posting strategy, I thought I'd throw out something weighty and wordy and hopefully of value to those of you who are interested in exploring more about the connections that exist between human health and environmental exposures.
Attached to this entry is the most recent version of a speech that I have delivered many times in the Bay Area over the past five months. I spoke yesterday at my son's school, Stuart Hall, which is the elementary boys division of San Francisco's Schools of the Sacred Heart. As my wonderful audience patiently sat through my now-accelerated delivery of more than a mouthful of 19 carefully edited single-space pages, it occurred to me that perhaps this baby is equally suited for a quiet read on its own. I don't scale, but the message certainly could.
As general reference, the first iteration of this piece was written for an intended audience of moms at my daughter’s school in December 2007. But as I mentioned in the introduction of yesterday’s version, I have since confirmed that the story is relevant to all people, whether you are a parent or a pet owner, a Californian or a New Yorker, a male or a female, a conservationist or a voracious consumer, because as Americans, we are linked by a common vulnerability to lax protective measures and loose safety standards that are proving to place us all in harm’s way. It’s so very hard to figure out where the hazards lie and how we can better safeguard ourselves against them.
If nothing else, my hope is that this work might catalyze a broader quest for a national demand to protect our people and our natural resources from irreparable damage. Clearly, with the rising rates of obesity, infertility, autism, cancer and a myriad of other ills, we are already paying dearly for our reckless living. But what I find most tragic is that so many of us are skipping along a bright path of ignorance. My sunny journey ended only last summer when I began to truly understand what was at stake in the battle for the American wallet.
Although I have suffered terrifying doubt that we cannot turn the tide of our damaging behavior, I have been equally inspired by the fact that my own actions – whether in my household, my kids’ schools or in our community – are visibly propelling others to leap forward as catalysts for essential change. How does that song go, “anything I can do, you can do better……” I have never left a presentation without hearing, within 2-3 hours, from someone who has cleared out their shelves, made a trip to Whole Foods and stepped up to a new standard of living.
So if you haven’t read this piece or heard me deliver it, take 20 minutes and see what you might learn. Feedback is completely welcome. But remember, I’m just a well-intentioned mom trying to cheer along essential change by guiding us all to the tremendous wisdom we can no longer ignore. Help me, help us all!