I say it was a check in my conscience because I’m one of those annoyingly avid label readers, so it was totally out of character for this step to have completely slipped my mind. This is not the way of a warrior. This is not how I roll. But I know this friend of mine to have high integrity with her values, even when she’s been given permission to step down, even when no one would ever know she took the easy way out. I had subconsciously assumed that she and I had the same standards for what types of products we want to sell and use.
After much fence sitting I’d finally made the decision to cross over to the multi-level marketing world of a particular makeup company. I’d been searching for ways to make so-called “easy” or “passive” supplemental income, and I really respected the friend of mine who was already involved in this particular gig, wanting me to join her team. But literally as I tried to pull the trigger and make the purchase for the starter kit, the website (or maybe the computer I was using…we’ll never know) prevented me from going forward. I had gone through multiple attempts, reentering bank account information, choosing appropriate URLs and passwords, etc., and only the last button I had to click wouldn’t work. We then had to contact support, and during that waiting period for the problem to resolve I had a check in my conscience…
“You didn’t check the ingredients on any of these products. You read no labels and just took the opinion of someone you respect and trust as good enough.”
She had even assured me that this company offered vegan and gluten-free products! I thought surely if a makeup company was on board with those specs, there was no way they’d include otherwise questionable ingredients. Eh…
Think about how this goes down in the grocery store.You know when some random product in your mainstream grocery store has “ALL NATURAL” slapped across the front of it with green coloring and a picture of some happy cow on a farm? Lots of uneducated bollocks there. Don’t buy it. Scrutinize the living hell out of it. It’s called “Greenwashing,” where product labels gloss over in nonspecific terms, giving the impression of high quality or organic methods or ethical production… You get the idea. But these are not actually stamps of approval from any higher organization that operates independently of the financial gain of these distributors and producers they certify. Greenwashing dupes people left and right into thinking they’re purchasing something that’s better for them and the environment, never measuring the product to any real standard.
It’s difficult to turn around and halt the train after you feel like you have already committed to something, especially when it seems like you’re going back on your word to somebody else. At least I struggle with feeling this way from time to time. It had taken me months for me to come around to this decision to work on my friend’s team, and it felt like I was inconveniencing her and making myself come across as less credible by pulling out at the last second. My lower self worried if she’d think less of me, if it would affect our friendship. That’s when my sweet-ass higher self conscience chimed in timely as usual…
“If she’s really as substantial of a person that you perceive her to be, and the friendship really matters to her as much as she acts like it does, she will respect and support your decision.” True words.
So I pushed to get the all the ingredient lists for the makeup products from this company, and to my disappointment (but not to my surprise) there were plenty of these compounds that I saw as very borderline quality, at best; however they weren’t the infamous toxins, you know, the real poisons in commercial products. Did that mean these things weren’t really that bad? Were these terms completely relative? Or did it just mean that they weren’t being discussed for their true toxic nature in the public eye yet? And if they weren’t that bad then was I still OK with still making money off them? The idealist in me said, “You KNOW of better options out there.” Suddenly I realized I had never given thought to the possibility of being able to sell better options out there.
The hangup was that my friend’s offer seemed like an easier, already paved road, with AAA roadside assistance and benefits and perks waiting to be showered over my bank account. Alternatives might not make as much money and I didn’t have anyone trying to give me a hand up (or a hand to push me) or help me get started on those paths. Though in actuality I had no proof that one path would be easier or more profitable, I realize in hindsight that those types of beliefs were purely my limited perception at that present moment.
So what about you? When do you remember being stuck in a similar dilemma of personal ethics? Maybe you have found yourself in this exact same situation before, when the options seemingly most available to you look really good, but in the back of your mind and the bottom of your heart, you know of the better thing that exists somewhere out there.
I believe we can’t delusionally live in idealism that is blind to reality and deadlines, but that does not mean that we should ever lose sight of what we know is best.
Think about what you really want… Do you want what’s just good, or do you want what would be awesome? And are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices and strategies to pursue it?