Inconvenient: Not convenient especially in giving trouble or annoyance.
The word inconvenient has such a bad rap. It’s always being touted around as an excuse for not doing something or another.
We’ve become a lazy nation. How could we not, everything is at our finger tips at all times. Cell phones are no longer just phones, they’re mini computers that can do our banking, run our businesses, and entertain our children. Why go across town to visit a friend you haven’t seen in awhile when you can just do a quick scroll through their facebook posts to catch up. Why teach your child math when there’s a YouTube video that can do it for you? We want what we want when we want it and we usually get it. We are spoiled to pieces, inconveniencing ourselves is sooo yesteryear.
I had dinner with a friend of mine recently. We were discussing veganism and got into a heated discussion about how hard it is for meat eaters to find humanely raised meat. She explained how passionate she is about food politics, she’s read extensively on the subject, she’s watched the undercover investigations, and she wished there was more being done to regulate the horrors of factory farming. She said this as she gobbled down her beef negimaki.
When I pointed out the irony she explained that while she passionately wished factory farming would end, she didn’t have the power to change the system herself and was not willing to give anything up in the meantime. Her appetite still reigned supreme. She explained that there are no farmers’ markets where she lives and even if there were, she would not want to pay more for her meat. Giving up meat all together was not an option.
After I dived further into all the reasons why factory farmed meat is bad for her health, the animals, the world and the environment, she said “I complete agree, you’re preaching to the choir.” But, finding humanely raised locally farmed alternatives was still too inconvenient.
I often have heated food discussions with people but with her it seemed we were totally on the same side; same beliefs, same hopes. The only difference lied in the actions we were willing to take in response to those beliefs. The big ole “inconvenience” was the dividing line that separated us (well, that and the fact that I no longer have any desire to eat animals…).
If even people like my thoroughly educated and passionate friend aren’t willing to inconvenience themselves for their beliefs, then what hope is there for change?
This blog post isn’t about my friend as an individual, whose attitude is far more compassionate than most, it’s about a way of thinking. Someone saying they are passionate about food politics on the one hand but that they won’t make changes that are burdensome on the other was a reflection of just how high the majority of our world values their appetites of convenience. Even people who care about these issues aren’t willing to add an inconvenience to their lives to reflect their beliefs.
Inconvenience is starting to feel like an evil little monster that’s there to prevent us from being the best we can be. It’s like the PR rep for all factory farms. Sneaky little bugger.
So what if we changed the definitions of convenient and inconvenient. How do these defs work for you?
Convenient: Falling prey to greedy corporations that make their low quality junk so accessible your values fly out the window.
Inconvenient: Something that’s so darn essential you take extra steps to achieve it because doing what’s convenient is totally lame.
Works for me! So next time you’re about to do something that doesn’t feel like the right thing to do, but happens to be the most convenient thing to do, ask yourself which definitions of convenient and inconvenient you want to live by. Remember, the best things in life aren’t always easy.
So, how have you compassionately inconvenienced yourself lately?