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  • Writer's pictureKim M Horwood

Stop Biggering, Start Loving

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Seven-month-old Jaiah’s movie choice at brekky this morning was “The Lorax”. Along with his grandmother, clearly my grandson has great taste in movies. Unlike his Pa, who took me to the cinema once to see “Philadelphia” because Tom Hanks was in it, so it’s gotta be good, right? I cried so much I was depressed for weeks.

Not only is “The Lorax” based on a book by the bestest children’s author in the whole wide world, Dr Seuss, but it was a laugh-out-loud, thought-provoking, fun movie, with lovable characters, all underpinned with a very important message, which was about more than just saving the trees.

When inventor, The Once-ler, cut down all the Truffula Trees to make Thneeds, he got greedy. He biggered his factory and biggered the roads, which helped bigger his money, until the city of Thneedville was built. A city with no grass, no flowers, no trees. A city where fresh air is bought in bottles – a city of plastic.

Anything sounding familiar yet? (She says, swigging from a bottle of Mount Franklin, while wondering how much it would cost to concrete the whole front yard.)

The Lorax had me thinking. (No, not about concreting the front yard, which I think would cost too much.)

We live in a society now where we bigger our cars, bigger our homes, and worst of all, bigger our heads – without any thought for others. (Even Jeep tells us, we’re gunna need a bigger boat!) The problem with biggering, is that it wipes out what is really important.

In the real world, outside of Dr Seuss, social media fuels the biggering. We post perfect

bodies, filtered faces, magical holiday destinations, and better food. We post how much we have, how great we are, how harmonious our souls, and how fulfilled our lives – whether it’s true or not.

The Lorax was somewhat of a prophecy. I fear we have become Thneedville, a world of plastic and biggered-heads.

We start our days with smashed “I-am” on toast, with a healthy bowl of “self-love”, and a nice hot cup of “look-at-me”, and we post a photo of it. Right up behind that post is a shiny-muscle-gym pic, or a dinner-with-friends pic to show how loved we are, or a look-at-my-new-togs pic because everyone needs to see a bum. I’m sorry girls, but I also have a bum, and I don’t want to see yours.

The irony is we love ourselves so much, we have forgotten how to love one another.

My hand is fully raised – I plead guilty to not loving everyone. I do try, but there are times when some people are too hard to love – like when I’m driving. I’m sorry. But to be fair, if you don’t use your indicator, you ARE most certainly, a dickhead and I can’t love you.

If you’re like me and feel there are times when you’ve forgotten how to love, let me share with you, the five languages of love:

1. Affirmation

2. Time

3. Acts of Service

4. Gifts

5. Touch

Choose your language, then ask yourself:

1. Affirmation? Who did I encourage/compliment/appreciate today with my words? (I could find no affirmations that one time for Missy Jetstar at Sydney Airport, because she was a bit rude and mean. I tried hard to put myself in her shoes, thinking maybe her ponytail was just too tight, or maybe she had a giant tapeworm?)

2. Time? Quality time is the key. Was I present today for someone – no phone, no TV, and no distraction? (Even if he wants to explain how an air compressor works, just frown at appropriate pauses and make it look like you get it, so he feels his job is done.)

3. Acts of Service? What did I do to make someone’s life easier today? (I let you in numb nuts, even though you have no idea how to merge. Like a zipper people, like a zipper!)

4. Gifts? Visual symbols of love are priceless. What did I give today, that reflected the values of another, and not necessarily my values? (Like the frangipani branch my son dragged down our street for me one day - it just fell off someone's tree, apparently.)

5. Touch? Human touch and your body language tells another person how you feel about them. Some people are not huggers, but nothing is more satisfying than having a bad day hugged out of you. Have you hugged someone today? (I did. I hugged Jaiah for picking “The Lorax”, then for eating his breakfast, then for being born, then for being my favourite grandchild – he got hugged a lot today.)

Seriously though, if we want solutions to how our electronic connectedness has left us all feeling disconnected, turn off the phone/device and ask yourself, what did I do to help someone today, what could I have done better, and what must I accomplish tomorrow?

And finally, some gems of wisdom from “The Lorax”:

· If we all keep biggering, we only end up “biggered”, with nothing to show for it.

· You can’t reap what you don’t sow. Let the love inside you show. Plant a seed and see what grows.

· Remember, fresh air is free and photosynthesis is not a made up word!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr Seuss-

Real strength comes from helping others – that quote is from me, not Dr Seuss. You’re welcome.

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