• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Keeping my mouth shut

 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let me set the stage. I work for a manufacturing company that machines parts. I had a customer in for a visit yesterday to review a new part that we will be quoting on to produce for them. We had a brief meetng about the part, did a plant tour and then went to lunch. So we (two engineers from my customer, our sales guy, my boss and myself) are at lunch and have all ordered. While waiting for the meal to arrive, we were just chit-chatting about things. Our sales guy casually asks the engineers from our customer if they thought that their mother company would sell off it's AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL division or at least spin it off from the company under a totally new company. I have no idea why I never thought about it or made the connection before that comment, because their name is one of the well known ones on the "dark side". Let me just say that I was glad that no one was looking at me when that comment was made or during the brief comments by the customer's engineer. My lips pinched together in disgust, my skin immediately bristled, I had a revolting feeling sweep through my body and, oh the thoughts that started racing through my mind that I so passionately wanted to express. I quickly and intentionally clamped my mouth shut, knowing that, even though the business unit I deal with is completely different from the agricultural chemical unit (fertilizers, pest control, weed control), it would not have been wise for our business relationship, nor my general employment, for me to start spouting off all of the things running through my brain. All that I can say is thank goodness it was NOT Monsanto sitting across the table from me or I might have made the evening news...crazy lady attacks her customers at lunch.
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For me, saying nothing is only slightly more challenging than blurting out the unacceptable. Neither have much value in helping the world.

The high road is learning to state your beliefs, in a clear and non-threatening way. Those of us who are people of knowledge have a moral responsibility to bring understanding to the ignorant. Obviously, being offensive and combative is counter-productive. But speaking in a measured and clear manner, stating facts as facts and not attacking personally, is how we change minds. We need to train ourselves in this form of effective communication. I believe that it is our duty as global citizens to teach and bring light to the darkness.

Guru = One who brings light to the darkness. The Enlightener. We should all strive for this, it is what our world needs.
 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Supporting my view in a clear and decisive mannor is exactly why I kept my mouth shut at that moment and, too, because it was not at all what the conversation was about. The surprise of having it all dawn on me did not put me in a good frame of mind to think of an appropriate response. Anyways really the audience wasn't the right audience either. He was answering a question about one of his companies business units and not talking in the least bit about his opinion on growing things with the chemicals. Even if I would have been in the right frame of mind after the surprise discovery, I don't think that bringing up my personal views about the chemicals, how they have a negative impact and my permaculture beliefs were an appropriate conversation at that point in time, unless, of course, he would have launched into what he thought were the virtues of all of the chemicals. I tried to practice the permaculture principle of observation and I think that it helped for me to have the appropriate response for the situation at hand.

I really mentioned the situation because (1) I found it to be sort of humerous in the irony of it and (2) because I think that no matter how much we try to control the interctions in inputs in our own lives, sometimes "Murphy" throws in things to get a chuckle or two. I didn't look at it as a failure because I did not say anything. I looked at it as a success because I evaluated the situation and conversation quickly enough to know that it wasn't about the "benefit" of the chemicals, but instead just a summary of the business unit itself. I think that if I would have jumped in and expressed my views and drug the conversation into the realm of gardening, it would have been received on deaf ears and might have actually turned off a few of the people at the table. What is gained by blindsiding someone when the premise of the conversation had absolutely nothing to do with gardening or the perceived benefits of their sister companies products? Dont get me wrong, I am passionate about my view. I looked at this whole situation as a learning opportunity for myself...getting my self prepared for "game day" when the conversation is appropriate. I need to work on my 30 second elevator pitch for permaculture anyways, so that I quickly summarize the virtues of permaculture without sounding generic or eccentric. This situation made me think all the more about what I WOULD have said if the opportunity would have been appropriate.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3717
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
85
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jen Shrock wrote: I need to work on my 30 second elevator pitch for permaculture anyways, so that I quickly summarize the virtues of permaculture without sounding generic or eccentric.


When you figure it out, start a thread and post it.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 9042
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
681
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am the ultimate hypocrite. In my job work for a contractor. My company performs services for industrial sites. A frequent location is a pair of PCS Phosphate plants, designed by Monsanto. These plants rape the countryside not far from my home, sending the pillaged resources across the globe to be used, without a doubt, for growing GM crops. I work at paper and pulp mills which mow down forest every day. I work at concrete plants whose product covers the earth. I work at power plants which belch carbon into the atmosphere 24/7.

I do what I have to in order to get by in the world. I did not create the mess we are in, but I've been a part of it my whole life nonetheless.
On my own time I work to make the world a better place.
 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Burra. There are a couple of pitches on that link that might just do the trick!

I do what I have to in order to get by in the world. I did not create the mess we are in, but I've been a part of it my whole life nonetheless. On my own time I work to make the world a better place.
I am right there with you Ken. While the way of the world isn't optimal, it does pay the bills until we can formulate our transition away from it.
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"The End Never Justifies the Means"

Its a pretty profound way of looking at the morality of the choices we make as humans. I am certainly no saint, and quite a decent hypocrite to boot. But I think that philosophers far wiser than me have concluded over the centuries that doing the wrong thing now, cannot be ethically justified, whether we think it is necessary, or moves us to a better future.

So many sins over the centuries have been made possible by individual humans who concluded that just going with the acceptable notions of the day, be it clearcutting or apartheid, was a tolerable and even necessary thing to do.

Be the best you can be. Dont kid yourself that you 'have' to keep working for evil, 'just to pay the bills'. You have other options. Choosing right isnt always easy or comfortable, but there is a soundness of mind that comes from right living that you cannot put a pricetag on. Our grandchildren will look back one day, and wont be too impressed by people doing the wrong things just because it was convenient. We owe it to the future to be the change we know in our hearts to be right.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
187
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The best way to effect change or to attack, is often from within. I'm in a business that is populated by mostly people of below average character. Waste disposal is a magnet for low lives of all stripes. I've taken advantage of my proximity and knowledge to expose a few things. My movie camera is important in this. It's quite exciting to follow somebody from five cars back and then to sneak through brambles in order to film illegal dumping.

Jen is likely to be more useful as an employed person, than as someone who is unemployed and completely out of the loop. Next to the way we treat the Earth, I think the most important thing is to lay our hands onto some money. These companies are going to continue with payroll. I'd be happy to see that not all are loyal drones.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
286
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The best way to effect change or to attack, is often from within.


Very true. Very seldom is an Evil Empire brought down by external forces alone.
It is usually somebody on the inside, that has access, who can bring the real story to outsider's attention.

As frustrating as it is to bite your own tongue, so that you don't say something, it is often the best choice overall.

 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do freely, within the company that I work for, talk plant talk and healthy earth talk when people ask questions or will listen when I get on one of my really excited "rants" about permaculture and gardening. I recognize the eyes glazed over look, so I try to keep my comments to a manageable amount of information. I am generally the person that people go to for the natural gardening questions and I freqently loan out my books and use the questions as opportunities to guide people to "safe" alternatives and websites. It is awesome when you mention one little tidbit of information to someone and see the lightbulb come on.

I have one young chap that seems to really enjoy talking with me because of the eccentric topics that we often end up on. With him, I sort of play the "did you know this" game because I know how curious he is about different things/foods that aren't necessarily common in mainstream society. It gives my mind a chance to geek out a bit and I usually feed him enough information to get him to thinking and, sometimes, investigating a little further himself. Will he ever be a gardener himself, no way (you just have to know him) but he really does appreaciate the purity and healthiness behind what I present to him. Right now he has a couple of my books on herbs for pets because he is trying to come up with a healthy solution for a health problem his cat has.

I do have one friend at work that goes the chemical route (hydroponics, fertilizers, etc) and I am feeding him little snippets of information too. I try not to judge him, but I am also hoping that as I develop my system and see gains with natural alternatives, I can be a positive influence on him. He and I agree to not agree on the paths we take to get to our end results. Lead by example is my method with him. (Like talking with him about how I can see a significant difference in my blueberries planted near the compost pile, with comfrey around them, compared to the plants 30 foot away...while he is talking about this "great" fertilizer that he is dumping on all of his blueberry plants. I tease him that his plants are crack addicts and he gets what I am saying and just laughs it off.)

I am doing my best to innoculate the people that I work with. You can't conquer the world if you don't take at least some action, right?
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!