We were driving out to my parents place the other day and Chris turned to me and said, “I feel like such a hypocrite”. Although he said it out of the blue, I immediately knew what he was referring to. He had recently gotten back from taking Kai to Victoria to protest the Enbridge pipeline, and here we were driving our Mitsubishi import 45 minutes out of town to have dinner in White Rock. I, being the pragmatist I am, quoted Kai’s newest saying, “Well, that’s just the way life works…”
The truth is that we are all in a system that constantly forces your ideals to bend to the realities of the world we have. Oil consumption is an easy example, but a argument could be make for countless ways we squander abundance. So…what do we do? How do we keep ourselves from living in a constant state of cognitive dissonance? For me, I recognize that there are better choices I can make to care for the community I am a part of. What is extreme to one person, is not extreme to another. Taking the bus out to White Rock with my 3 year old doesn’t seem like something I want (or is even possible at this point) to do. However, what are the things I CAN do?
Sometimes I feel people get so entrenched in their argument, they miss the heart of the issue. We are all just trying to figure out the best way to live in a world that makes it extremely tough to do so. Perhaps that means I need to be more ready to be inconvenienced (what?! Only take the car once a week to do errands? Yikes…). Jawcey and I tried to only buy clothes from thrift stores for a while. I still do try to primarily buy consignment, but perhaps I should challenge myself to ONLY buy second hand this year…OR perhaps I will become stronger in my refusal to drink from plastic water bottles (don’t get me started on that tangent…), OR maybe this will be the year we convert that diesel to bio fuel (which was the original idea). The point is, how are my daily choices reflecting my hopes for a more sustainable future? There really isn’t room for self-righteousness or soapboxing if we are to support each other in making positive decisions. In some ways we succeed, in some ways we don’t, but how are we consistently trying for better? That is the question I am asking myself.
I have come to the conclusion that I need to make the small choices where I can and continue to have the conversation–with my friends, in my class, with the people that disagree–of how we are to live more sustainably and honestly. The choice to stay on the farm and grow some food, educate each other, live with each other and make mistakes is part of figuring it out. I still drink at Starbucks, shop at Costco, love clothes and drive a car that (gasp) uses diesel. At this point I have made an unsteady agreement with the world I live in, but I may be willing to renegotiate the terms as I make my daily choices.