American author and poet Alice Walker has a quote I love which says, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
This is so true, and everyone I know does it — including me. It’s so much easier to pretend like a victim of __________ (whatever our current problem is), to think there’s nothing that can be done about a situation. It abdicates us of responsibility.
But it’s often not that hard to do something.
I recently watched a fascinating documentary called Food, Inc., which I highly recommend.
The most important thing I learned from this film is that we have more power than we think. It’s easy to look at something like our industrial food system, for example, and say, “That is far too big for me to impact.” But that’s not true. It is the collective consuming “us” who actually have the leverage, through the things we choose to eat and the items we decide to buy. Nobody makes us purchase anything, but through those choices, we are voting for what we believe in — because those companies are tracking every single thing we buy.
My wife and I were walking around Target this weekend getting household products (windex, toilet cleaner, etc.), and we decided to pay the extra thirty cents and go for the “natural” products. Are they completely natural? Maybe not, but it’s clearly a step in the right direction for product manufacturers. And we have the power to vote that they should make more of these kind of products, every time we buy them.