It is incredulous to think that the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is at risk due to the impact of coal mining. Recently we heard that the Greenpeace ship, “The Rainbow Warrior” was on its way to the Great Barrier Reef so the activists can do whatever possible to help halt the madness, and that it would be docking in Sydney and conducting free tours! My youngest child is passionate about the environment and when I told her about the Rainbow Warrior coming to Sydney, she jumped at the opportunity for a day trip to see it! The Rainbow Warrior is a very special ship, having been purpose built especially for Greenpeace, factoring in the specific needs of a ship that is used for environmental activism. It is also especially significant, given the history of the original Rainbow Warrior’s tragic bombing by the French secret service.
The biggest hurdle to our planned adventure was Mr 13, who was not keen at all. Leaving him at home wasn’t an easy option on the particular day we were going, so we spent quite a lot of time discussing potential solutions. I suggested a number of other activities that he might be interested in doing while we were Sydney, but none of them appealed to him to the degree that he was willing to “endure” the Rainbow Warrior tour and a long train trip as well. Finally I suggested something he jumped at: the aquarium! It turned out to be an absolutely perfect thing to do, because we could see the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, hot on the heels of touring the Greenpeace ship that was on its way to the Great Barrier Reef!
I strongly believe in finding win-win solutions, where everybody’s feelings and needs are taken into consideration. It is well worth the effort because it honours the individual within the family, and respects different people’s preferences. It is a beautiful way to show love. It might take a while, and a fair amount of discussion, but if the intent is to honour the preferences of both parties, eventually a solution will be found that both are happy about. One of the most helpful books I’ve discovered for understanding practical ways of doing this is Winning Parent, Winning Child: Parenting So Everybody Wins.
So we headed off on our train journey, finally arriving at the beautiful Sydney Harbour.
All in all we had a fantastically awesome day! And it was really great to find a way to factor in something of interest to both kids, even though one initially hadn’t wanted to go.
Don’t worry, I didn’t either until my dear friend Ruth alerted me to it. It’s an initiative of The Wilderness Society as a way of raising community and government awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans so that these beautiful creatures can have a great habitat to live in. It was so easy to participate. We simply had to build a turtle sculpture out of sand, photograph it and send it in, so that the collected photos could be presented to the appropriate government body.
The great thing was, we had a lot of fun in the process AND we get to be part of sending a very important message to policy makers!
I just love our interesting, varied, family-based learning lifestyle! And I love that we don’t spend all day every day staring at each other across the kitchen table. There are so many wonderful experiences out in the “big wide world”, and so much living to be done. And we get to share it with wonderful family friends. What a beautiful way to live!