One thing I hate,it is wasting.You can certainly say it is a sort of a family imprinting being raised by parents obsessed with respect the environment.
When I was a child there was no wasting food.If I was not eating my meat at lunch,it was proposed in other remains for the mid afternoon snack. If it was not eaten then,it was back in my plate at dinner time,then it was better to eat it because sure it would have appeared on the breakfast table the following morning.The quantity of food was an other issue:”You take only what you think you can eat and, if after you are still hungry, you can serve yourself again.You wont starve or be left without food”.This was one of my mother mantras,along with:”While you are wasting your food here,there are children who are starving to death”.I was small and couldn’t really understand how my piece of whatever food could feed a child miles away in an other continent.
The right quantity of food to serve myself, it is certainly something I learned the hard way one afternoon.We were having tea and biscuits and I, took from the jar a bit too many biscuits.They were my favorites and being completely honest,I was afraid someone else would eat them.The amount I took was bigger then the amount I feel to eat.Detail not as relevant as the greediness I show:”You took them,you eat them”,I was told. I always had a sweet tooth and I always loved biscuits but, they were really a lot.I was sick for a day,stuffed with biscuits.Lesson learned!Since then,I only take small portions at the time.
This is a story that still goes around and nona is still very strict with no wasting food and being greedy. My girls learned since their very early days not to make my same mistake.
Last year we went to a party where there was an other couple with their two kids. When the food arrived,the mother started to fill her kids plates first and very much abundantly.No consideration for the other guests shown and mainly for the other kids.My daughters were left with half portion of fries to share but didn’t complaint.I did.I felt sorry for them and wanted to spat on the woman’s face how unmannerly she has been.The thing that infuriated me the most,was that her kids messed with the food and left the majority of it that went straight into the bin with not even a blink of an eye from the mother.I was disgusted by that behavior and annoyed.What really cheered me up,at the end,was hearing my two daughters commenting on the fact astonished by the waste of food.Some good teaching has been passed on.
Energy, water and toilet paper were other important forms of obsession in my parents’s home.
Water is a resource in danger so the tap is on only when you need it and so are lights.Toilet paper block the drain and strangle the fishes in the sea.”Unless you have a huge ass you don’t need that many sheets of it”,an other mantra.
My parents have a big house with a huge garden and a lot of plants.Italy over summer is very hot so water is needed but, water must be saved! Thankfully the house has a water well.I still wonder if the well made them pick that particular house,or if its presence was just a coincidence.
If I go back down the memory lane I see countless summer evenings spent to take the water from the well to water the plants .(The irrigation system was since the beginning automatized and connected to the well).Now,dealing with the well,it is the girls job and they find it fun…for few weeks a year! As already anticipated not wasting energy is strictly practiced as well.Dinner time is the most tricky part of the day as they refuse to switch on the big chandelier over the table.A strong light while eating is annoying and unnecessary.Meals are always consumed under a dim light.Romantic indeed but not always practical.I won’t even go over the toilet paper subject.I will just say that, I am prone to believe that the bathrooms of their house are kept short of toilet papers rolls on purpose.
At the end of the day,it was not bad at all growing up with such concerned parents.They indeed shaped my social and environmentalist conscence and without even realising it I am passing down the message to my daughters.No words needed because, they just see me switch off the lights every time I leave a room,(except for the Tibetan salt lamps)and they copy me;they just see me recycling and never throw food in the bin and they copy me;they just see me turn off the tap if I am not using the water and they copy me. Over summer then,they go to complete their education at their grandparents home but,that is different:that it is like been taught by professionals.