New Year's Resolution: Be Kind
Suzhou, China is famous for silk, pearls and BiLuoChun (碧螺春) tea, a popular variety of green tea. On one of our visits to the Suzhou countryside, we came across a tea field filled with goats casually grazing between the tea bushes. We had no idea what the goats were there for, but by that time we had become used to seeing animals in unusual places in China. As we got closer to the goats, we noticed a mama goat watching us carefully without making any noise. We acknowledged her, asked for her permission, and picked up a baby goat. She gave a nod of approval and looked away. The baby goat was so cute we could not get enough of her. Later we found out these goats were being used as an organic weed control solution. They eat the weeds without damaging the tea bushes, and their droppings act as fertilizer, reducing human labor in both cases. In other parts of China, where PuEr tea is grown, we met farmers who employ geese for the same purpose, because goat droppings can sometimes give a 'goaty' note to PuEr tea. This was one of many surprising things we learned while in China. We loved the idea of humans and animals working together in this way.
Living in foreign countries makes us reflect on ourselves and our own values . We may find that our “common sense” is not always common or sensible in a foreign country.
Where did my experience leave me? I decided to become kinder to all, including humans, animals and the earth. To give more room and love every chance I get. This has lead me to meet and befriend so many like-minded, amazing people from all over the world.
I didn’t realize how much living abroad had changed me until we came back to the US and settled into our “normal” life again. Now I focus more on the little difference I CAN make on this beautiful place we call home, and the people and animals I share it with.
So our New Year’s resolution as a company is :
Give back to fellow humans in meaningful ways, through education, financial assistance and emotional support. And spend more time with animals : )
Photo Credit: Chris Zaic