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People as Pollinators

Posted: October 2, 2019

By: Joshua O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Pollinators flit and fly around from flower to flower. They never “stand” still, or sit, or lay, unlike large mammals. It’s where the expression “busy bee” comes from.

Sometimes the bee is perfect. In fact, most of the time, bees are perfect. Honey bees have the highest population in the world and lead the charge in pollinating. Pollinating enables plants to reproduce and mix into healthy species. More than 78 percent of flowering plants need pollinators. Trees, flowers, and crops all rely on pollinators not only to grow, but to be diverse, which makes them stronger and more adaptable. The list of pollinators comes in all shapes and sizes, and many don’t deliberately look for ways to pollinate. They simply do what they need to. They go into flowers for food and “drop off” pollen unknowingly. Imagine how powerful they could bee if they knew what they were doing? (See that extra “e” there? Yay, jokes.)

Humans pollinate by moving ideas and emotions around. We gather information from all kinds of media—books, paintings, movies, poems, video games, social media, lectures, and spending time with other people. We pick up from each other. We sense each other’s moods and are affected by them. We can encourage each other with words. We can grow new ideas through experiences or from books and movies. We connect and give and take and grow and expand. Think how powerful we could be if we were more conscious of what we move, working to transport only the most challenging, most uplifting, most diverse content? We should all be growing and pollinating together for a better world, just like the characters in these stories:

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez: Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. How can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: From 1965 through the present, an Indian American family adjusts to life in New York City, alternately fending off and welcoming challenges to their own traditions.

Ziggy, Stardust & Me by James Brandon: Set against the tumultuous backdrop of 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.

This Story Is a Lie by Tom Pollock: Despite Pete’s unpredictable panic attacks, he finds patterns of mathematics soothing. Though bullied in their London school, his adventurous, rebellious twin sister, Bel, is his protector. They have camaraderie with Ingrid, an obsessive-compulsive classmate math genius. All are forced to deal with a terrorist group.

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