Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boycotting the Boycotts (aka OFF the bandwagon)

Last Friday I ate lunch at Chick fil a.
It was delicious.
I also bought some stuff on Amazon and the stuff is awesome.

I realize those sentences may be the most mundane things some of you have heard, but I know there are also others who are trying to decide why I would commit such an atrocity while doing a good deed. I also know some of you thing the atrocity is the Chick fil a food and others think it is patronizing Amazon.

I have more to share that will confuse/freak you out.

I shop at Walmart when I'm bored or I just want cheap Rubbermaid buckets.
I love pretty much all Nestle candy and I will forever.
I'm also LDS (aka a Mormon)... but I don't care for the Boy Scouts. Oh, and I didn't support Prop 8. Of course, I wasn't against it either... I just didn't know how I felt about it at that time.

I love to buy local but my local grocery store hates the produce co-op that I support so I rarely shop there because it makes me cranky. But I still do shop there when I can't take the time to drive to Walmart (mwaaa haaa haaa).

Speaking of which... I love my produce and I have enjoyed trying to eat towards a certain style, namely Paleo. But, guess what? It isn't totally for me. I like bread. I like to bake cakes and rolls. I like eating processed foods sometimes, even though I feel better when I eat less of them (so I tend to eat less of them when I feel yucky). But, I can't just go down one road and refuse to eat Cheerios ever again. I need to just eat food that is good and be happy.
I need to have some variety in my life and in my diet. I love peaches and twinkies too much to never eat either again. (Though I admit the goal is more peaches and less twinkies, moderation people. Moderation.)

I've realized something this summer.
I'm sick of causes.
I'm sick of bandwagons.
I'm tired of boycotts.
I'm tired of negativity limiting choices.

I hear all this, "that business/person/group doesn't support xyz cause. They're mean! Let's be mean back and ignore them/badmouth them/put them out of business.

This sounds an awful lot like the stuff mean girls (and boys) do to each other in high school.

Didn't we all graduate from high school?

Didn't we all decide at some point we were past this kind of stuff?

Did I fall asleep and everyone took a vote and we don't allow people to have different opinions so we torture them and force people to either conform to us or hide because we're louder and meaner now?

Why are we punishing people and businesses for being honest about where they stand on thing, regardless of popularity?

Isn't it just getting a bit silly?

Take this summer. I was at the babywearing conference and this wonderful company donated a mountain of carriers to the nonprofit groups that were in attendance. During a very gracious speech by one of the reps, she mentioned that one of the ceos of the company was/had been involved with Nestle. It wasn't very clear. Immediately some groups were up in arms and considering throwing these FREE, quality carriers that were GIVEN to these groups that don't have a ton of money off a bridge. It was just crazy to me. We want to throw a gift in the face of someone because we don't like something about them.
In the end, the business is NOT a part of Nestle so it was a non issue. But, it really irked me. When did we all get so petty? We were being given a GIFT. The appropriate response is, "thank you."

I need to make a confession.

I'm really imperfect. I think based on my shopping choices above you may agree. If my shopping doesn't bother you, my religion might. My education background could bug you too. My hair or skin color or my sexual orientation may be offensive. The number of kids I have could grate on you. My love of Joel McHale and my lack of love for Tom Hanks could upset you. I could keep going, but I think you can see that there are a number of reasons you could dislike and even BOYCOTT me.

But... why bother?

For one thing, it doesn't make you a better person to mistreat others.

For another, I also have a lot of qualities that make me awesome, one of the most important being that I'm an imperfect human being... just like you.


So, I'm done with this nonsense of boycotting everything under the sun. I'm done with the causes, I'm done with the bandwagon. I just don't have the time and I'm just not perfect enough to keep up.

Instead I'm going to do something that sounds a lot easier to me.
I'm going to shop where I want to. If the customer service isn't great or I find a better price or something is more convenient I may switch.
If a business or group or person does something nice for me, I'm going to say thank you. I'm not going to dig into their personal life and find something evil about them. I really don't want that favor returned.

If I disagree with the personal views of another human being who happens to own a business, I'm not going to slam their business. However, I will probably not seek out the company of that person if the disagreement bothers me enough.
I'm old enough to separate business with people and besides, I realize I punish a lot of other undeserving people when I boycott these businesses because I don't like the person who owns it and I just don't want to be that mean to others.

I realize I'm just a drop in the bucket for these groups and people and whatnot, but I'm pretty important to me and I just don't have it in me to be this mean.

In case you are wondering, I have a few ideas on what I will do instead:

1. Absolutely nothing. It isn't my business and I don't have the time or brain power for other peoples' problems.

2. I'll see their mean and raise them two nice things that I do in the world that day. They'll probably never know, but I will.

3. I'll remember that while others make really crappy choices, I'm pretty skilled at making crap choices too and I'll look for something positive in them to focus on.

4. I'll remember that everyone can change how they feel and what they do and I'll hope that happens for them while I work on myself since I'm really the only person I can control.

5. When I see another cry for a boycott or a protest or a new cause to join, I'm going to do what I do when I don't like a tv show and just turn it off. I'm sorry, but I don't need any more negative in my life, you'll have to find someone else to freak out.

It is time to boycott the boycotts.

4 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree with you Kimber! I feel like I'm a pretty granola/crunchy mama. But when I talk to other granola/crunchy mammas, I feel like it's a contest of who is less mainstream than everyone else, or who is the best at boycotting things. I've had people get upset at me for shopping at Walmart and eating McDonalds. It happens. This is life, and I have to pick my battles. But my shopping at Walmart doesn't mean that I approve of child slavery or trafficking. My eating at Mcdonalds every once in a while doesn't mean that I hope every cow lives a short life in a filthy stall. And someday if I buy a BMW, it doesn't mean that I hope all Jews die (they contributed heavily to the Nazi cause in WW2, and actually bought Jews for slave labor). I still think their cars are pretty amazing!

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  2. Bravo! -here in PA

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