Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oranges vs. orange juice, and all that it implies

So, these days, our local grocery store is selling really good oranges. My 14 year old enjoys them, as do the rest of us. My last two trips to the store, I’ve noticed that my 14 year old (14yo) has written “O.J” on the shopping list. I ignored it. Why buy orange juice (which is processed in a factory, using energy; bottled in a plastic container made of petroleum products, etc. etc.) when I can buy delicious oranges?

I am living my beliefs by not buying O.J. while oranges are still in season. This is good. I’m doing my (small, yes) part to save the planet.

But then I was thinking about Separation of Church and State. How does my not buying orange juice relate to that principle, which I so strongly believe in?

As primary food shopper for my family, I am kind of like an elected official. I have the trust of my family, a certain power over what they eat, and a responsibility to them. So should I impose my O.J. philosophy on them?

Believe it or not, I actually gave this some serious thought.

It is my deeply held belief that each of us should take the small steps that we can, and it is my “faith” that if we all did that, we could save the planet, humanity, etc. So I am really tempted to impose this on my family. But I decided that would be wrong. I’ll still try to persuade them, by explaining and modeling the behavior I believe in, but I can’t force them to follow my beliefs.

I tried to explain this to my husband and 14yo last night. They just wanted to debate O.J. vs. Orange Juice.

It took quite an effort (and a moment of will over shaky voice) to explain that the point I was trying to make had little to do with O.J., but everything to do with power, and resisting the temptation to use it, despite my personal beliefs.

It ended up being a pretty good discussion. Maybe I was inspired by the Teaching Tolerance website I was looking at yesterday. Certainly also by the First Freedom First campaign.


Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

Karen said...

Thank you!! Come again, for sure.

Chase March said...

Okay, if you are giving your family the means to squeeze the oranges into juice I am fully with you. Natural is better and you can make orange juice in the home. I know that I really look forward to a glass of orange juice in the morning. Of course, making your own orange juice requires a lot of oranges. This may not be a good solution to helping save the planet. Just thought I’d put that out there.

Karen said...

14yo agrees with Chase. He says:

"The reason I like orange juice in the morning is it wakes up my mouth."

Aptly put.

And yes, he could juice his own oranges (which he doesn't) or slice one up (which he does). So I really see no need for O.J. when fresh oranges are available.

But he says he likes both.

We have a difference of opinion.

I found it interesting to ask myself about my use of power (small as it might be, as family shopper) in this situation.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Dr. Zaius said...

As the Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith of Ape City, I can tell you that Theocratic rule is wrong and evil... Except when I do it. (Isn't that what they all say?)

Not having a voice is more crippling in ways than many medical disorders, and yet surveys show that people fear public speaking more than just about anything that can be listed, that is not fatal. Why is that?

Blue Gal said...

Loved this post. Congrats on the FFF guest blogging!

Karen said...

Thanks, Blue Gal!

Dr. Zaius: Maybe blogging should be prescribed as a cure for fear-of-public-speaking.