Friday, August 17, 2012

Ordinary Extremist

Today I went to the local cooperative grocery store, Rainbow Grocery, to pick up some fair trade, organic, and/or local items. Recently, we discovered that toiletry items, like shampoo and soap, come with a human price tag. Workers who make these items are not paid ethical wages and the farmers who provide the ingredients are not paid a livable wage.  In an attempt to not take advantage of others, we decided to buy fair trade and organic soap and shampoo. These, sadly, can only be found at our co-op.

While riding home, I was thinking about a documentary called No Impact Man. Find it on Netflix instant if you are interested. This man lived intentionally in a way that would have limited impact on the earth for one year. To do this he bought local food, lived without electricity, and only used a bike as his only means of transportation. The journey his family went on was convicting and unimaginable. It seems very extremist.

Some people when they look our life say we are extremist. Danny rides a bike to work most days. We don't own a car. We are constantly looking for USA made clothing and household items. We are willing to pay more for things made locally. I do not have insurance by choice and instead pay into a Christian cooperative where people all over the country share each others medical bills. Danny and I care deeply about human well-being, the care of our earth, and living in counter-cultural ways.

We are motivated by Jesus' teachings to love unconditionally and with his power, right the things that are wrong in our world. It is wrong that Fresno's air quality is so poor, because of pollution from cars in the surrounding metropolises. It is wrong that farmers who labor over coffee beans are paid pennies for what we pay dollars for on a daily basis. It is wrong that children are taken from their homes and forced to mine for precious gems. So, because we love Jesus and he has given us everything, we buy local, organic, and fair trade. Oh and we ride bikes.

As I was on the bus I was thinking that my purchases put me closer to living like No Impact Man. And I smiled. To me, this is becoming ordinary. This is the way we are living. One life style choice at a time  to better love our neighbors, both near and far, and our world. Some would say we are extremist, but to me it is just ordinary.

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