Before I keep going with this blog, and highlighting the 12 steps to buying locally, I want to take a few minutes to talk about perfection. By definition (according to Merriam Webster), perfection means: The quality or state of being perfect, being without faults or defects; or an exemplification of supreme excellence. I don't know about any of you, but I know I'm not perfect, nor is anyone I know. We all have our faults, and although many of us may be excellent at things, we are not excellent at everything. Perfection is a desirable, yet more than likely unreachable, goal for many. And that's okay.
My point is, when we are moving ahead in our journey to be more self-aware of who we are, what we are doing, and how we are consuming, perfection should not be the goal. If you set your goal is something that is not attainable, then our failure will come too easily because every little act of straying from this lofty goal will make us feel as though we are not good enough. I don't want that for any of you. I want positive feelings of making a change in ourselves, because it is much easier living life in the light rather than in the dark. Positivity makes us feel good about what we are doing, and that is the most important feeling in this journey.
For example, I'm not perfect. Far from it, in fact. And although I have laid out these 12 steps to buying local, don't expect that I live each step to its fullest every single day of my life. I have weaknesses just like every one else. Take my love of Guinness. That is certainly not local, and most definitely not a sustainable beer choice, but when I go out, that's what I order. Why? Because I'm not perfect. But, knowing that it is not the best choice is part of these 12 steps. And knowing that I buy it anyway is accepting that I cannot be perfect, but that every little bit I do, does count, so if I fail to be perfect along the way, I'm not a failure - just human.
Recently I received my book back from the editors, with some final adjustments outlined throughout it. One of them was a question about a statement I make regarding an apple juice product that wasn't from Maine. The editor asked why the author would consider buying the juice if it didn't fit into her agenda. My answer - because my kids asked me to. We were at the store, they were begging for some apple juice and I grabbed a frozen concentrate container and flipped it over. It stated it contained juices from 3 different countries (none of them the USA), so I didn't buy it. But I did consider it, and that doesn't mean my agenda of buying locally is a hoax, it simply means that I am not perfect.
As you move forward in your journey with me to consume local goods and food, keep this in mind. You are not perfect. But if you do your best to be aware and knowledgeable of the choices you are making, then you are on the right path. Steering off it from time to time will not get you lost so long as you remember how to get back.