The First Straw

Your example is the most powerful change-agent there is

Last week I purchased a set of stainless steel reusable straws. I have been horrified at the news of how many of our little plastic drinking utensils end up in landfill and the ocean, and decided that I could make one simple change to ensure I’m part of the solution.

So, now, I carry a pouch of metal straws in my handbag. Whenever I’m dining out, I ask for my smoothies, or orange juices, or Singapore Slings to be delivered sans straw, and use my personal ones instead.

The other night, at an end-of-year party, a friend saw me reaching for my stainless steel sipper and asked what I was doing. When I explained my concern regarding excessive straw disposal, he nodded. “Ah, so you’re making a stand”, he said.

“No”, I replied. “I’m just making a change.”

Most of us have grown up with an unconscious belief that making the world a better place means dictating the best rules, yelling loudest, or standing strongest. But, in fact, the greatest gift you can give this world is the simple, and often silent, power of your example.

Even in those times when we feel inspired to speak out and speak up on behalf of goodness, decency or humanity, if we are not also setting the example of what we desire in our own lives, then our words are impotent.

If you desire for your children to respect the physical and emotional boundaries of themselves and others, how do you show that you honor and maintain your own personal boundaries?

If you yearn for a kinder, more peaceful world, what steps are you taking to ensure you are kinder and more peaceful in your words and actions?

If you are concerned about the welfare of animals, how do you show compassion for the animals of this earth — including the human animal?

If you wish for people to be happier, what are you doing to make your own happiness a priority?

I have decided to do away with disposable straws. And I do so, not to appear righteous, or force others to think of their actions, or to send plastic-straw sippers on some passive-aggressive guilt trip. I do so because it feels right, and simple, and effortless, and it resonates with who I want to be in this world.

I do so, because I don’t want to demand change. I want to create it. And I know that it all starts with me, and the invitation I emanate through my example.


Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.