This is a guest post written by Kerry, author of The Simple Year Year One. She is trying to follow in Kim’s footsteps and “be nicer”. Here are some words and a challenge from her.
I like to think I am generally a nice person. However, on any given day, I might be “the meanest mommy in the world”. And I have been known to get surly with the customer service person after holding for 28 minutes to try to explain that they sent me the wrong bill.
But, I like Kim’s idea of trying to live kindly and I’ve been trying to follow her example, which brings me to my story.
My oldest daughter and I were at a farmer’s market not long ago. We made our way from booth to booth, picked up a couple of locally grown items and admired the crafts. I’ll admit it, there is something about shopping at a farmer’s market that makes me feel slightly smug and superior. See me, supporting the farmers while listening to live folk music.
Anyway, I had to take a break from patting myself on the back when we arrived at a stall with a small selection of fruits and vegetables. On the corner, my daughter spotted- just three-not quite full- lonely pints of strawberries that had been hand picked that morning. They were also marked $10 EACH. I steered her away quickly.
It was too late. “Please, please, pleeeeeaaaaaaaase. Mommy, can we please get those strawberries?”
I muttered something about them being too expensive and tried to redirect her attention to a nice bargain pile of kale, but she was insistent.
“But, you always said that we should support local farmers. It is their livelihood and it is better for the economy and doesn’t waste gas.” (an amazing recall for a kid who can’t remember I asked her to unload the dishwasher)
But, her words stopped me. In her quest for ripe, juicy goodness, she had a point. Yes, those were expensive strawberries, but we live in Anchorage, Alaska where the growing season is SHORT and almost all produce has to be shipped in. The short window of availability and the care that must have gone into raising those plants in this climate probably did warrant their hefty price tag.
So in an effort to “practice what I preach” and be kind to the environment, farmer and my daughter, I changed my mind and bought something that I could have paid half for at a grocery store.
And, you know, they were delicious.
What if we were all to go out and buy something that we could probably buy elsewhere cheaper just because it is locally grown or handcrafted? Would it change the world? Probably not, but it would be kind. If you have a story, we would love to hear it. Jot it in the comments or send a note. We will all applaud your efforts.