Okay, so here’s the question…..do “we” as concerned, committed individuals have the right to question someone else’s level of passion/committment?
Here’s the story - yesterday as we were driving home from the Master Gardener’s event - see yesterday’s post for description - my (older, wiser) husband asked what I thought of each speaker. I focused on one speaker in particular who was a young man, raising a family, on a local organic farm. He spent a significant amount of his time talking about reducing his carbon footprint…then went on to say he orders products from Amazon that I know he could find locally if he made the effort. He also proudly described how they fed their 11 month old daughter fresh veggies using a steamer/blender machine…then later showed a picture of a toy that he said came with a, “Happy Meal.” The thing is - I liked this guy, I liked his enthusiasm, I liked the non-profit he has created to bring real food to people who don’t have access to it. I just thought he should be aware of how those two simple comments, in my opinion, tainted his presentation.
I told my husband I was going to e-mail this guy and explain how I felt. He, wisely, told me to wait until tomorrow.
So…this morning I awoke with a great idea about this guys non-profit and how I could connect him with a teen volunteer program. I know of a program that literally has 1000+ teens involved - and I am sure they are unaware of his need for volunteers. I thought it was a great idea…..and it would give me the venue to explain my feelings of about his non congruent presentation. My husband loved the part about the volunteers, but suggested I rethink the other portion. Ya well, what does he know….
I e-mailed Dan, the farmer. I started off with a, “thanks, yesterday was great” message, then went into the volunteer thing, then closed with a, “in my opinion……..” message that sounded so altruistic in my head when I read it back to myself. My husband actually agreed that it was well conceived and well written.
Dan disagreed. Turns out I misquoted his Amazon use - and the, Happy Meal toy was a gift from a friend. His daughter doesn’t eat Happy Meals. He explained that his goals are simple, if he can make a few people turn off their lights when they leave a room or wash their clothes in cold water, he’s happy and feels he’s done his job well.
So, here’s the question…was I out of line? I already turn out lights, wash in cold water, bring my own bags to the market, eat seasonal/local, car pool, limit internet ordering. But I do have my hair colored, buy vodka produced in England, and just bought kitchen shelves from Williams Sonoma that are made in Sweden. In my e-mail to Dan I didn’t say, “don’t do these things…..” I said that when presenting in public, don’t include them in your presentation.
I was so caught up in what he did, in my mind, wrong - and how I thought I was really helping him, that my personal reality didn’t count. Well, I guess I just answered my own question (must be why shrinks recommend journalling, it really does work).