The trash can podium

Contributed by J. Orem

Anyone that has been to a couple of our beekeeper meetings has probably noticed that we use a trashcan for a podium. I think this is the most appropriate tool our club can use to share information. Standing behind the trash can and sharing information is a very humbling experience. It makes one realize that the information you are aspousing can be usable information or just plain garbage.

It makes one want to think before he/she speaks.

The speaker puts the info out there and the receiver decides if it is garbage or useful information. We've had several people behind that trash can. I wonder if they feel the same way. Some of them speak in public on a regular basis. Do they know that normal people have to sift through their “information” and pick out the garbage and keep the good stuff? One man's junk is another man's treasure. How can the speaker decide what is treasure to everyone?

Especially with beekeeping you can find differing and passionate opinions on almost every subject. “Ask 4 beekeepers the same question, and you'll get 5 answers”. Yours being the fifth and maybe, the final answer. Sometimes it's the first and final answer. But just because all 5 answers don't agree, that doesn't mean someone has the wrong opinion. You need to decide what is right for you. Making fun of a “wrong” answer may be in poor taste but the answerer needs to have a thick enough skin to realize his/her answer may be garbage to someone else. I know I'm guilty of both. Are you?

What if all podiums were trash cans? How would this affect other public speakers? I'm thinking about teachers, professors, politicians, and preachers. Would they think a little harder before they speak? Would the audience be reminded that just because that person is speaking, it doesn't mean that they are the final authority on that subject?

The next time I'm behind the trashcan, remember that the only thing I can tell you is how I normally do it. I can't really tell you what I would do until I am in that situation myself. I just hope my information helps you decide how you'll do it... and my feelings won't be hurt if my information turns out to be any trash.

At the end of the night, one thing is for sure. We all learned something and no one has any garbage to lug home. If you've been thinking about taking the plung into beekeeping, come and join us the 3rd Thursday of every month. You'll be glad you did... and that's no garbage. Click here to jump on our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date on what's going on.


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