Every day, I see and share hypocrisies, while trying not to be a hypocrite myself.
I'm aware of my shortcomings just as much (or maybe more) than my efforts and commitments, and I try and learn (and never "un-know"), do better, use less, care more, and evolve.
As much as I would love to spend a night in a yurt and eat off my own organic farm (preferably in a tropical location), I'm hardly an eco-hero, most of us aren't, even if we are making better choices and dedicating our time, work and efforts to caring and doing. BUT, there is a big difference between not being perfect, and being downright untruthful.
Spin and storytelling is an important part of marketing (my team loves creating a good story and sharing widely!), but stories should never be based on oxymoronic foundations -- with a strong emphasis on moronic.
The following oxymorons are NOT from the Onion. They are unfortunately accepted in our society because we validate and share, and they are only a few of the examples we come across daily that outrage us. It's time we stop accepting these oxymoronic stories, and simply rely on our own common sense, because inherently, if we pause and think, we will most often see the real story, and know if it's good for us.
Sugar as part of good nutrition (seriously, Big Sugar is claiming they're healthy - and are spreading the message at schools too. Read my son Ryan's account of his school's visit from the Canadian Sugar Institute)
Nestle Water as an "industry leader in corporate sustainability & water stewardship" (despite stealing water from communities, bottling it in plastic, and selling it back to them)
General Mills saving the bees (while also spraying pesticides and supporting the destructive commercial honey industry)
Pink Ribbons on toxic products (slapping a pink breast cancer ribbon on a toxic product, doesn't make it safe for our health, it's called pinkwashing)
Halloween chocolate as fun for kids (even though the chocolate is harvested by child slaves. Beware of Hershey, Mars, and Nestle. There are so many ways to treat our kids while supporting good companies, this goes for the chocolate used for your Easter Egg Hunts, and all year round too. Choose Fair Trade instead.)
Farmers' Market food that's not local, organic, or good for you (just because something is being sold at a Farmers' Market doesn't mean it's clean, organic, or even local. Here is a list of questions you should be asking yourself and the vendors at your local market)
Social Media Experts (how can you be an expert on something that changes every day?)
Coke implying that their product makes you happy (using Open Happiness as a slogan to sell toxic sugar water, is just one example - I do love this video exposing the truth behind soda and "happiness")
Oxymorons are inherently contradictory. Big corporations think that they know us; they think they know what colours, words, rhetorical devices, and stories drive consumer behaviour. Stop and think about the stories that you are being fed and who is motivated to tell them; the truth may challenging to see or to swallow, but we absolutely need to reject + expose the hypocrisies we're being sold. We are so much more than consumers - we're thinkers and doers and world-changers too.
Follow Lisa Borden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisaborden