I would like to share something that happened at work recently, and I feel that it is important to maintain the same tone in which it occurred so I will not censor the verbiage.
I work in a food warehouse and get to see many different things people buy that I would not normally look for on my own (like pickled pigs feet). A friend of mine drove up and blocked me off, then asked me this: “What the hell is up with all this roasted seaweed and shit? What ever just happened to regular potato chips?”
“Well,” I responded, “I don’t think that is anything new, its probably been around a while. Its just something that we…”
“They got all those weird-ass chips,” he interrupted, “and the seaweed –the last time I looked, there was nothing wrong with the plain old fuckin’ potato chip!” he declared with a bit of aggravation.
“Well yah, but people probably just want to try…” I tried to respond but he interrupted again.
“There is one over there,” he said as he nodded to another part of the warehouse, “that says Sustainable. What the fuck does sustainable mean?!”
I was a bit confused why he was getting so worked up, especially since I was just minding my own business and it seemed like he sought me out. I felt like I needed to respond, but he seemed a bit insincere with his questions.
“Well they are just trying to do something good for the environment.” I guess my response was not what he wanted, so he eloquently rephrased the question.
“No, I don’t know what it means — Sustainable, what does it mean?”
“Oh!” I replied, “you don’t know?”
“No, I don’t” He seemed receptive now, so I thought I might get a word in and help clear up some of his confusion.
“It has to do with reducing your carbon footprint.” His posture changed and he tilted his head like I told him something sarcastic. “Well its more than just that,” I added, “It’s more about the entire process: from the tractors, to the…”
“What!?” he exclaimed. “Don’t these people already know that all the carbon that the tractors make is absorbed by the potatoes already?!”
My thoughts were that I would prefer to not eat exhaust laden potatoes, but that would have to wait until I finished so I continued, “Well it includes the packaging, the facility, its water-source, irrigation, the…”
“So basically, its a bunch of people who are dumb-asses that don’t know what they’re doing, but think they are doing something good for the environment.” He seemed pretty confident in his opinion and sat awaiting my response.
A long time ago I learned that you should not waste your time arguing with someone who is convinced they are right. If you do, then you will fall into the fools trap and have all your credibility wasted in a single effort to convince a single baboon that you know the correct order of colors in a rainbow. The baboon doesn’t care if it is right or wrong, just as long as you agree and encourage the nature of the baboon. I know it is wrong, but I also knew that I already wasted enough time as it was, and wasting more was the greater tragedy. So I shrugged my shoulders and threw my hands up, then said,
The look of satisfaction swept through his body like he was given a massage. Then he happily told me why all these people were so stupid, and then started to give his dissertation on what they should do if they were “really smart.” He did tell me how well I explained it even-though I don’t think I explained anything. He felt pretty good about himself, and I just wanted to leave so badly.
If I have ever done this in the past I would like to offer an apology. I hope that I have come far enough in maturity to strive to understand what is truly important. I wouldn’t want to be remembered that way and I should be better off outside that opinionated chrysalis.