Was that intentional?

I was just reading an email I got from Land Stewardship Project.  The email was about upcoming Holistic Management Classes.

As I was skimming the email to see if the class is something I would be interested in I ran across this statement, which got me thinking.

“The framework is build upon the idea that the success of all human goals is tied to the health of the ecosystem processes that support life on this planet. In other words, whether you directly manage land or not, Holistic Management can help you achieve your goals in ways that benefit you, your family, your community and the environment.”

What really struck me was the “whether you directly manage land or not”, the key word being “directly”.  Whether we directly do something, in other words, whether we intend to do something or not, it has an impact.   Everyday we’re faced with hundreds, perhaps thousands of decisions and we’re directly doing something or it’s the indirect choice not to, it’s still making a choice, which in turn makes an impact.

This can be applied to so many areas of our lives, but it really drives home the point of intentional living.  Often times we make a decision to do something but forget that the opposite of what we decide (the indirect choice) also makes an impact.  Often times these indirect choices have even more impact that the direct choice.  I’ll throw a big example out there.  Some people may make the direct choice to by conventional produce, the indirect choice is not to buy organic produce.  They may make this indirect choice without even being aware that it was a choice at all.  Maybe buying conventional is all they know.  Maybe they didn’t realize that they even had the choice to buy organic tomatoes, for example, because they are in a different corner of the store that don’t typically shop in.  Or, maybe they made the choice to buy conventional tomatoes because they were less expensive than their organic counterpart.  This choice, this purchase, has impacts in many ways that they might not have even thought about.  They may not even realize that the tomatoes they are eating or feeding their family were grown from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in other words, altered genetic make-up.  They may not have realized that the tomatoes were sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to keep insects and diseases away from them so the farmer could get a better yield but that those “cides” stay on the produce, are absorbed by the plant that feeds the produce and stay in the soil for years to come.  They may not have realized that the tomatoes were picked green and transported halfway across the country and were “ripened” during shipping by using ethylene gas applications. They also may not realize that by choosing conventional produce they are choosing to support conventional practices, many of which have gotten the soil and environment in the situation we’re in today.

The indirect choice, not to buy organic produce, also means indirectly choosing not to support organic or local growers who are making a conscious decision to grow their crops using sustainable methods, not using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, but instead using crop rotations and other methods to preserve and add nutrients to the soil.  In other words, making an indirect choice to support what is harming the planet and an indirect choice to not support making it a better place.

You might be thinking, “Come on!  They were just buying tomatoes!”  but that is exactly the point.  We all need to be aware of the impact of our choices, whether direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional.  I’m not saying to change everything you’re doing today or run out and buy only organic food.  And I’m not saying to make yourself crazy when shopping at the grocery store or any other place.  What I’m saying is that we all just need to be aware, be mindful and make intentional choices.

Kate

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One Comment to “Was that intentional?”

  1. I love this idea of of the impact of the things we are not choosing. Another example might be what we dedicate our time to. We spend hours and hours surfing the internet or watching TV and not even 1 minute a day thinking about how we could turn this world into a more just and equal world. That has a big impact too.

    Thanks for sharing this train of thoughts 🙂

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