Wednesday 7 November 2012

Still Chained

It's an awful thing to speak so venomously about the big box store retailers,
when in fact we have yet to free ourselves from them.
Most of our buying is done with a comfortable conscience.
But key items remain that seem impossible to buy with being a hypocrite.

There are some products that I continue to buy at the corporate chains.
Of them is oil and automotive parts and supplies.
We run combustion engines; namely our van and truck, the tractor, and various small-powered machines.
They all need oil in some form or another.
There is no organic, fair-trade, ethical oil.
Petroleum is dirty and powers a mammoth industry that forces it's will everywhere that it exists.
Yet without it, the machines come to a grinding halt.

Having boycotted the big stores, it always feels surreal when I'm cruising the aisles.
It's unnaturally bright, and loaded with metaphor; the world's problems on display.
Of course, it's Christmastime in retail land.
There is the overwhelming urge to vomit while experiencing conflicting emotions of fond childhood memory and the senseless binge of holiday consumption.

Though I bought my oil in bulk,
the futile attempts at justifying the purchase just make me tired.
I don't have all of the solutions, but I know when I have violated my own integrity.
The store feels like a trap, and I just walked right in.
What's worse is that I'll do it again



  1. as i have mentioned before, i appreciate your honesty. i know exactly how you feel. i do shop at the regular grocery store (in addition to our garden and CSA and the farmer's market we support.) i walk into some stores and i feel the tension in me just build and build until i finally leave.... i can deal with my little stash of "produced goods" but to see and be surrounded by the quantity involved in large chain stores is almost incapacitating.

    here's something deeper though- why do i feel the need to explain to you that i do not only shop at the grocery store? why do you feel the need to explain that you support such and such store for such and such products ? here is one response- i have been judged as not trying hard enough or doing enough, for selling out, buying in. I have been marginalized and not included by some "doing what is right for the earth/our health, etc" because my choices aren'y enough for them. there is a fine line between conservative folks on both ends of the spectrum.... it has to do with setting down some line for themselves and others or their not included.

    what do you think? have you ever been excluded?

    1. Everyone expresses themselves for a variety of reasons.
      Our reasons are to show ideals at work.
      Not that we always live up to our ideals, but the successes and failures help others as they strive to keep to their own goals.
      I do worry about appearing judgemental.
      And though we are judgemental of many things, our intention is not to judge people who are trying their best to live up to their potential.
      I talk about the places where we shop so that others are aware of good options.
      Of course with this post, it goes to show that there are many difficult choices to be made.
      In my experience, even the most stauch advocates of responsible living often fall short of their own idealism.
      Pointing out failures and successes can be used as an emotional defence mechanism.
      But understanding the results of our actions in terms of positive and negative alllows us to learn and make better choices going forward.
      Expressing ourselves provides others the benefit of our experience just as we we learn and grow from the expression of others.

  2. In my opinion, there is a danger of becoming too attached to these 'ideals' you refer to.
    "Trying their best to live up to their potential" is a bit of an oxymoron as our 'true potential', is boundless, requires no effort and is difficult to define within the constraints of language. It is a connection to the source of all information and all that exists.

    Defining actions in the physical space as 'success or failure' can be a bit like a chinese finger trap and can enhance one's own ego, creating further separation from the source...a space where one experiences joyful bliss, regular inexplicable synchronicities and a pureness akin to the half-assed smile on my 12-day old's milk-drunk face that I am currently looking at.

    I think it is important to remember that everyone is ALWAYS 'doing their very best' from their level of consciousness. Right or wrong is an ego-based assumption which precludes an understanding of the fact that we are all one. True self-reliant, conscious-living, in my opinion, should reflect this regularly, and I believe it is difficult to attain from any other space than one of "non-judgement".

    That said, I appreciate your passion and vigor, and recall similar feelings several years ago, wherein any time I had to make a purchase, I considered it a failure. I have found that the additional stress/pressure this places on our functioning in every day living is counterproductive. I now prefer to accept what is....this doesn't mean I make thoughtless, uninformed decisions and/or purchases, it just means I am more accepting of the "convenience-trade" that I once loathed... Resistance ages me.