Choice is all about truth

Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.
Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.

Do you ever wonder if you ask enough questions?

Questions about what you are eating; how was it grown, where was it grown, or how it was cared for when alive and how it’s life ended so you could eat it?

Or how about the things that entertain us.  Do we ask enough questions of others before we hand over money in order to amuse ourselves?

As a young mum, I saved and saved to take my two children then aged four and six to Sea World.  It seemed like the thing all Aussie families had to do.

We had a blast on rides, got completely soaked and ate very expensive but delicious junk food.

And the highlight - the dolphin show.          

We were told how happy the animals were to perform for us, so at the time we believed that they were indeed happy.  

We were told they loved living in captivity because they could not look after themselves in the outside world, so we believed that too.  

A few years later I took my children on an elephant ride, and even when my then-10-year-old daughter asked me what the large metal brush with long nail-like spikes was for, I didn’t ask any questions.

I look back and wonder if I didn’t ask about the harsh ‘brush’-like object because I didn’t really want to know the answer.

It did turn out that the elephants were in fact beaten into submission so they would take well-meaning tourists like me on quiet strolls through man-made ‘wild’ forests.

Questions are the way we learn.  

Sometimes the answer is a truth we don’t really want to know, as it challenges the way we choose to live our lives.  

But questions can also be a powerful tool in holding others and, most importantly, ourselves to account.

It’s also the way we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and our world.

I have a friend who is constantly challenging life and how we as humans treat other species and our environment.  

To be honest with you, sometimes it’s just exhausting to constantly justify to her, and even to myself, that the way I live is okay.

Like it’s okay to buy the cheapest products even though you know someone down the food chain must have been paid a pittance for their time and effort.

And while at times, I just want these conversations to end, I am often left feeling uncomfortable about the lack of information I have before I make certain choices, letting myself off the hook because I am time poor.

Being naive in this day and age is no longer a good enough excuse.   

We are flooded with the necessary tools to help us investigate and research every aspect of life.