I am so often asked why I am not a “bargain” shopper?
Why I choose to spend so much more money on certain products instead of the cheaper alternatives.
I get this alot from my family and my budget conscious lover who always do this out of love.
Now, I live pretty modestly and like alot of people live mostly paycheck to paycheck. I live on a budget. And am also a firm believer in quality over quantity.
Since the big consumerism phase of fast food and proliferated plastics, things have gotten cheaper, but they also have gotten less safe for our health.
Almost indestructable mason jars have been replaced by plastics because they’re cheaper to manufacter. Even though canning jars are pressurized and you dont have to run the risk of BPH leeching into your food.
But I’ve gone on a tangant.
The point of this post is to not get on a soap box. My point in this is that we all have choices.
Choices as to the words we say and write. The choices to the food and drink we put in our bodies, and from where those foods and drinks were derived. The choices to the products and clothing we put on our bodies. The choices to the time we spend with loved ones versus working that extra hour to afford the unrenewable natural resource-guzzling yacht that our neighbors just took out a loan on.
To quote Starhawk,
[Holistic] magic teaches us to be aware that we are viewing the world through a frame, warns us not to confuse it with ultimate reality or mistake the map for the territory. Moreover, part of our magical discipline is to make conscious choices about which frame we adopt. As soon as we start making choices , we have entered the realm of values. The criteria we use for choosing one frame over another come from what we ultimately value most, what we consider sacred. To consider something sacred is to say that it is profoundly important, that it has value in and of itself that goes beyond our immediate comfort or convenience, that we don’t want to see it diminished or denigrated in any way.
That is what I feel mainstream thought has grown to lack. That is what I feel we as a society have grown to lack: the sacred value of foods and drinks, and therefore our health.
I feel that we look at our health as some outside concept seperate from our Selves.
It is a disease not us. It is the factory that allows the percentage of filth, not us. It is my chronic pain from having poor posture that causes me to take out my anger on you. It really isn’t me.
You need to understand. We all do.
Our choices have consequences.
This may sound like a stretch, but really nothing in our lives goes without a cause and effect, or really, does not go without several chosen causes and several effects due to those choices.
This is why I choose to vote with my spare dollar.
I choose to perfume my room and home with essential oils and herb rolled incense instead of toxic Febrese aerosols. This is why I choose to eat local produce and organically as much as possible. Truthfully, you can make some killer deals at a Farmer’s Market, there is a great misunderstanding that you have to have the right paycheck to buy organically.
But this is why I chose to live my life sans chemicals and pollutants, because I value my Self. I value my Lover, and I value my family.
I chose to:
“Align myself with what is truly sacred, which means serving those things that also feed and renew us, that give us the greatest joy and pleasure, that evoke our deepest love”
And our deepest health.
Starhawk and so many other environmentalists are right. We as people of the planet Earth, have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to our planet, our families, and our Selves. We have a responsibility to make considerate choices for our communities. We can choose to let the problem build and build and build until it explodes, or we can be wiser more caring by massaging it out periodically, and hopefully gain the knowledge to work the problem out for good.
By seeing the world as a dynamic whole, then we can learn to ask the first question when we face a choice: “How does this action or decision impact the whole?”
The whole may at first be beyond our complete knowledge, and acts do have unexpected consequences, but we can and should learn from those choices, not keep repeating them.
We each make decisions all the time, small ones and large ones. Do I spend an extra dollar to buy the organic tomatoes? If I consider the impact on the whole, on ny own health and the health of the whole system, and if I have the dollar, then yes, I do. Do I spend the time and effort to grow tomatoes of my own? If I were to pay myself for the hours I spent gardening, account for all the money and effort and thought I expend, each tomato probably costs me thirty dollars (or more if I decide to raise my hourly rate)- terrible value for the money. But if I’m looking at more than the tomatoes, at the whole of what I need and value and take pleasure in- the value of the fertile, healthy soil I cultivate in order to grow tomatoes, the seven-year-old who lives in our house and likes to pick them off the vine (and the introduction it gives her to nature and the garden), the joy the bees take in the borage that grows with the tomatoes and the fruit the bees pollinate, the positive relationship with my friend Brook, who adores the green-tomato chutney I make, the uncountable value eating something I have a real relationship with- then growing tomatoes is obviously of great benefit to the whole. There are many small ways we can bring our daily lives into greater balance…the hundreds of consumer choices we make are each an opportunity for affecting the greater balance of the whole.
But there are errors in becoming obsessive purists. And there are errors in believing that those individual choices are enough to change the world right away.
You see to make an impact on such a large scale means everyone needs to pitch in and do their fair share. Communities coming together in collective action in our current destructive reinforcing cycles at play is the only hope to stay the damage and restore health.
It truly takes a village, and we can do this by doing our each individual part in whatever way we can and watch it ripple outward by…
Choosing to look at more than tomatoes.