Non-Active-Activism

I’m a lot of things… but an “activist” isn’t one of them.

You are not likely to see me holding a sign that says “Down with &*#?!” any time soon or anywhere close.

I’m more or a guy that is “for” something rather than “against” something.

May people aren’t “for” things because there is positive effort in being a “for” person and it seems that human nature leans more toward the negative, or “against” posture.

Blah, blah… and… blah.

Here’s what I do… because I am a “non-activist.”

I saw a film about a certain oil company that apparently did some major damage in our gulf coast some years ago that likely destroyed the fishing business and the families that depended on it.

By the way… if you are someone who loves fish and the business is destroyed you can always go get lesser fish from some store somewhere for a greater price. As the consumer you/we have many choices. As the fisherman… if your waters are contaminated… you’re screwed. No livelihood… no food on the table… no college education for junior.

That’s bad stuff. It’s hard enough being a fisher family without adding a mutant, inedible catch to the equation.

But I digress…

In the film was another company who apparently did some major damage in Alaska some years back that was reportedly cleaned up and actually may have not been.

I saw the pictures and video of the sea creatures hopelessly fluttering around with oil soaked, useless wings.

It hurt my soul.

More families who can no longer put food on their tables because someone in a board room took the food out of their nets.

I know… I’m starting to sound a little like an activist here…

But you won’t find me with a sign in front of a building or a gas station. You likely won’t find me trudging through the gulf in hip boots trying to find out if the ground and water is still destroyed by someone’s negligence or checking to see if they lied to us all when they said that they had the problem “handled.” You won’t even find me checking to see if this company really did hire all the fishing boats in the area to huddle in one place to make it “look” as if they were doing amazing things for the community in a collective effort to clean up a horrible mistake.

I’m not going to do any of that… because… I’m not an activist. I’m not even really a “green” person. I drive the Volt because it’s made here and allows me to pass by more gas stations than anyone who doesn’t drive one.

I like that feeling.

What I am is a consumer.

I consume.

I can get my fish anywhere. I know that sounds cold… but it’s true.

But what is also true is that I can get what little gas and oil I CONSUME anywhere also.

I have choices.

So do you.

I CHOOSE to get my gas and oil from any company other than the two I didn’t mention up there.

I don’t do that because I know that they are guilty of gross negligence and destroying two of the most beautiful and lucrative fishing areas in the world…

I do that because they might have.

I can get my gas and oil anywhere. I know that sounds cold… but it’s true.

And so can you.

Buy local gas and oil if you think that, perhaps, those places with the big signs and great coffee may not be telling the truth.

I’m not suggesting that this is going to put them out of business or even make a dent in their self defined profits.

What I’m suggesting is that I prefer to error on the side of the fishermen and their families at the gas pump.

It’s a slow repair… but somehow it is working to fix that hole in my soul I experienced when I saw those pictures and video.

Sometimes it’s not only what you DO that counts… It’s also what you DON’T do.

I’m a non-activist. Maybe one day someone will get a photo of me pushing my car pat the big green sign or the blue and white one that extra half mile to the local gas station.

Yeah… I’m that stubborn. Always have been.

How about you?

What can you NOT do this week to make YOUR voice heard?

Schneider

13 thoughts on “Non-Active-Activism”

  1. John, I too an an activist, just this way. What I also see is large corporate community takeovers (regional actually) that are just as damaging to families and our country’s overall economic well being. Smaller, home grown and nurtured business that have thrived for decades can barely keep their doors open, if they are fortunate enough to sustain at all, anymore. The Walmart take-overs, national/international franchise restaurants, franchise real estate companies only to name a few. I find myself so thrilled that you have such a platform to speak to such things with an enlightening message that wakes up our society to our choices about supporting private industry in our world today. I suppose people really don’t realize how important it is to our freedom AND our economy.

    Thanks John, for speaking out to such matters that really are totally of our concern for our future.

  2. I can totally relate! For over twenty years our family has boycotted companies that financially support Planned Parenthood and the child pornography industry. We have looked into EVERYTHING that we consume- from the brand name of car insurance to the groceries we purchase, to places we shop for clothing. Even in the grocery store we won’t purchase products that made in certain countries where “one-child per family” laws are strictly enforces. I believe that being an activist isn’t something we need to wear on our sleeve or beat people over the head with. We can be activist in private, quiet, humble ways that are informative and non-threatening. There are always choices in what we do. My choice is to lead by example and NOT purchase or use any of those products and services offered by those companies. Does this make me a “non-activist” ?

  3. I agree. You will not see me holding a sign and protesting. I am not one who goes out looking for trouble shouting and holding a ridiculous sign.

  4. Hi John,

    Why is it people think that being stubborn is a negative quality? I don’t see it that way, though people tell me I’m stubborn all the time. It’s actually a good quality. It means you know what you want and won’t budge on it and what you believe in. There’s nothing wrong with being stubborn!

    Interesting you brought this up, specially since you have portrayed characters on both sides of the coin, so I think you would know better than most. You portrayed the oil company owner who’s drill unearthed a HUGE problem. No oil spilled but there was a lot of death. You also portrayed the fisherman trying to keep his family and business “afloat” due to something toxic killing all the fish and changing the behavior of the predators in the area. Turned some people nasty as well as sharks. Both movies, I think, had very good lessons about the treatment of the environment, along with the mistakes people make. But instead of learning from mistakes people seem to be more interested in covering their butts more than anything else.

    Maybe people try to fix things by becoming an “activist”. Others take part in doing things in smaller ways and that’s OK too, like passing up certain businesses to get what they want somewhere else.

    Sort of also sounds like what you are asking is “What hurts your soul, and what do you do about it?” Hurts my soul too to see animals stuck in an oil spill. On the other hand, it makes me feel better to see commercials advertising the dish washing liquid they use to bathe the animals to break down the oil in their fur and feathers. Nothing to be done about the fish though, except to hope they stop killing them. But we can buy our fish (also buy fruit and vegetables) from the “Mom and Pop” grocery store and the small outdoor market down the street, and NOT go to the big grocery store in the mini mall.

    Also hurts my soul to see the abuse of animals. You’ve said some things on YouTube about a book called “Thanking The Monkey”. Seeing videos you posted about it made me want to look up this book and look for it. One video you posted even made me cry, the one where you are looking out a window in New York, I think. I don’t know if I can even bring myself to watch the video you mention. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

    My heart breaks when I watch those ASPCA commercials with the abused cats and dogs in cages. Sometimes I even shut my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears because it’s too heart breaking. So what do I do about it? I put money in every box I see at a store raising money for the ASPCA. I write a check if I get something in the mail raising money for the ASPCA. Last of all, the next dog or cat I adopt will be either from them or an animal rescue organization. The last family dog I had came from the ASPCA and I (and my parents) loved him so much. The cats I had (that lived to a ripe old age of nearly 18) came from an animal rescue organization called “Happy Tails”. When I decide to adopt animals again I’m going to either one of those places to do it. The thing I can NOT do is go to a breeder and get a “Designer” animal. This is all stuff that will happen in the future, but not this week.

    What can I NOT do THIS week to make my voice heard? I’m going to NOT go to the fancy seafood restaurant in town (that I love) and buy my salmon from the little “Mom and Pop” restaurant down the street. Support your local little restaurants and farmers markets!

    Thank you, John

  5. I’m also not an activist. I agree with some of the things that you spoke of regarding the two oil companies you mentioned. The oil company which had damaged the Alaskan area is the company my father was employed by for 35 years, the company my husband, brother and most of my family work for directly or indirectly. The person driving the carrier was at fault and too bad it was with that big company’s oil. But little do you know about the oil field. Many of these smaller companies get petroleum products from the large companies. They buy their product from them and sell it without the big company’s name. So whether or not you want to believe it, guess who you are supporting. I respect you very much for your stand. Even though my family makes its living working for these companies, it breaks my heart to know that each of the companies hurt the environment. The earthquakes that happen are largely due to drilling, causing plates to shift in the earth. The pollution in the waters, ones we never hear of, damages the animal life. The pollution in the air from what our vehicles cause and from what chemical plants and refineries cause are so bad that people are diagnosed and die from cancer in an innumerable count is devastating. The Bible speaks of man destroying the earth. God could foresee human’s greed. That’s all it’s about for those companies and we as consumers just try to get by with what we have.

  6. I wrote this somewhere else, but am writing it here, too: As the mom of a large and opinionated blended family, I had to learn fast (at the age of 25) that everyone has a right to be who they are, and to accept that.
    In your case, John, that is not something we accept – it’s something we celebrate! Be who you are. And do what you do. Thank you.
    (PS: Your core support group now has 16 members.Just search Love and Support John, you’ll find us.)

  7. I must say I like your stance on the non-action as an action to your beliefs. I support your method and have been known to do the same. I just find it funny how you put a lot into showing the negative in showing your feelings towards events (ok maybe the teacher in me coming out again). I completely support your strong feelings (or shall we say choice) by not naming the companies they were responsible for the oil spills. I know many people will chose to go the extra mile or pay a little more rather than give their money to those companies.
    I guess where my point of the negative comes from was with your statement about being the consumer. This line of thinking of showing your feelings works both way. I quickly was taking back to March of 2013; my family on weekends likes to go to the local bagel shop for breakfast. We were growing disconnected with this place because of the slow business yet were torn on giving up the best tasking bagels in the area. We said we would give it one last try and were presently surprised when we learned it was under new ownership. We agreed to give Matt, (the new owner) a shot, and he proved he could do the job and still have the best bagels in town.
    In April of 2013, I was contacted by Farnooch Torabi (a financial expert for yahoo) we had worked with her on production work in the past and she remembered our huge front lawn and she wanted to send a film crew to our house to shoot her latest project. I only agreed after telling her my terms would be all food came from Bagel Bistro Grill (in Little Falls, NJ and yes I will give him the plug) I explained how he was just starting out and we wanted to help him, she was more the willing. So you are saying where am I going. Well at first we were going find another place for Saturday morning breakfast yet now we had reasons stay and continue to show our support for something we believed in, giving the new guy, and in this case also the small business guy a chance. I know you would see this, I was driven to find a post you had on your Facebook page (oh nooo it will not post the picture you have of “Do you know if each of us spent $100 more each year on local businesses instead of the chain stores, it would put an extra $3 million a year back into our economy, not only that it would create thousands more jobs every year.”) to drive my point home, yes you can take a stand by choosing how you spend your money for both the good and bad.
    Now onto your final question, “What can you NOT do this week to make YOUR voice heard?” This is a very hard question to answer, as a state worker and the union rep for my work-site, I always take the stand to support other union workers and I will NOT cross any picket line, even if I do not know the reason, it is done out of union respect. I chose NOT to shop for items made out of our country. I will admit I became offended when I learned our governor now has outsource the making of NJ license plates, (sorry Jersey girl through and through and much Jersey pride) but not sure how to go about taking an “non-activist” stand for that, but would be open to your suggestions. Peace…

  8. John, You may state you’re not an activist, but by your concern and caring for the environment and the people attached to it, you are showing your true feelings. You are very clever, indeed, but you are a sly fox. Thanks for the message. Many people this week were protesting and showing their care and concern for the environment not only in this country, but in many other civilized countries around the globe (166). We are not an isolated continent: we are part of humankind and we have a duty to ourselves and our children and those who come after them to complain about the way this past generation has treated the wonders of this planet. People’sClimate.org.
    Thank for being part of the solution to a terrible global problem that will decimate the planet if we don’t recognize the signs.

  9. John, You may state you’re not an activist, but by your concern and caring for the environment and the people attached to it, you are showing your true feelings. You are very clever, indeed, but you are a sly fox. Thanks for the message. Many people this week were protesting and showing their care and concern for the environment not only in this country, but in many other civilized countries around the globe (166). We are not an isolated continent: we are part of humankind and we have a duty to ourselves and our children and those who come after them to complain about the way this past generation has treated the wonders of this planet. http://www.People‘sClimate.org. Thank for being part of the solution to a terrible global problem that will decimate the planet if we don’t recognize the signs.

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