We claim to be inspired, as a society, by Greta—and yet we fly without offsetting for a few bucks.
We claim to love our pet, but eat other animals after confining them and terrorizing them.
We claim to hate factory farms, and yet we eat at restaurants without asking the source.
We claim to be horrified by the burning of the Amazon, and yet we patronize Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, which helped Bolsonaro—who’d made his plans clear—get elected—and we demand more beef, causing illegal operations to clear jungle for cattle.
We claim to care about community, yet we click Amazon to save a few bucks, gutting our middle-class and local shops.
We claim to despise corrupt politicians, and yet we don’t vote in overwhelming numbers.
The good news: we needn’t be perfect. We needn’t be pretentious, or hoity-toity. We can be modest, fun, self-deprecating. We can burn with the quiet fire of caring. We can be consistent. We can be ethical. We can choose the best of two imperfect choices, every time. We can boycott awful choices, if that’s all that’s out there. We can turn society into something kinder, more aware, less hostile, less tribal, less macho, less nationalist, more pluralistic, better educated, more empowered.
We can do this.
And it’s much more fun than the path of convenience.
2019 TIME’s Person of the Year: Greta Thunberg:
Just ran into a friend in the park. Our dogs played merrily in the silent night. It’s snowing. We’re due for two feet of snow by the morning.
I’d shopped at a local grocery, Alfalfa’s, using a local discount called Moxie. Everyone there was joyful—with that food-buying, Netflix n’chilling hygge-ful n’family excitement that immediately precedes a big snowstorm. The lines weren’t long.
My friend, on the other hand, had just shopped at Whole Foods. You know, Amazon. The lines were so intense she said people wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t stand aside, just to let her through the Express Line, to the Exit.
People can be so uptight. People can be so inspiring. The same people.
This Holiday, let’s think about shopping locally, not Amazon. Let’s remember middle class jobs pay for families, and communities. We might think we’re saving when we buy discounts, we might think it’s more convenient to buy on Amazon…but we’re climate changing when we fill container ships from China, and we’re gutting our own towns. Ultimately, the cheapest, most convenient thing—is to have a fair-paying job, and a joyful society.
Bonus: read this NY Times article on why shopping in a local hardware store, say, might be cheaper and even more convenient than on Amazon.
This holiday, shop local, or shop green, or shop mindful—I like local craft fairs. There’s a six-foot-five 85-year-old man who is madly in love with wood, and makes bowls and Christmas ornaments. He inspires me. I can’t tell you when, if ever, Jeff Bezos inspired me.
If you’d like to shop online, we’re online. Nothing’s evil about it, but support independent. We’ve gathered our favorite mindful businesses in our annual Holiday Gift Guide.