Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Take a typical Wednesday in our lives for example:
1. We get up after sleeping on a bed made by a group of people in Mexico. Another group of people brought it to Oakland, where we bought it, and took it home. A similar story exists for all our furniture, sheets, and towels. Anything you see that we use and did not make ourselves exists for us through the cooperation of many hands.
2. We make breakfast: organic fair trade coffee (this is coffee we pick especially because it protects songbirds, the people who do the work to bring it to us, and the environment), organic free range eggs (from a local North Bay farm where the chickens are not kept in cages and they can see the sunlight and scratch for their food), and natural nitrate free sausages (made locally San Leandro!).
You'll notice that the items that I listed for breakfast were very particular. That is because choices matter (even consumer ones). While I am not one to jump on a capitalist bandwagon, I do recognize that the system we live under affords me some degree of choice. Do I want eggs from chickens that suffered, never seeing the light of day and having their feet growing into mesh cages? No- of course I do not. Do I want a known carcinogen in my sausage? Again, no. Do I want to protect the environment by getting certain kinds of coffee, even if it means paying an extra dollar per pound? Yes- that is worth it to me. Having principles that apply how we interact with others, who we interact with and even what we buy and where we buy it affects our choices. We never shop at Wal Mart, for example- this is because they are destroying small businesses, taxing money away form the communities they exist in, and treating their employees quite badly.
3. After some play time at home and getting clean, we head out to Pagan Playdate. This is also an exercise in cooperation. The other parents and I talk throughout the week about where to meet, what to plan, and what would be fun for you to do.
5. Then we put you in your highchair and wheel you into the kitchen so we can feed you and you can watch us cook. We do this instead of letting you play in the living room, because you have told us that you prefer to have us all together, even if it means that you are in the high chair. So we are cooperating with you, too.
Don't let the media fool you when you are older, son*. People are mostly good, and generally we want the same things: food, water, shelter, ease, and love.
*Rowan does not watch TV right now, as we are following recommendations to keep him from doing so until at least age 2.