Life is full of lessons, and I learned many from the two wise and caring people to whom I was born. Some were easy, and some were hard — but the hard ones were usually those I learned on my own.
My father taught me that pouring kerosene in a yellowjacket nest after dark will kill the hive by morning. However, I extrapolated from this (being expected to mow the lawn before nightfall) that pouring gasoline down that hole on a hot summer day, then tossing a match into it, would work just as well.
Explaining the burned grass and the enlarged hole in the ground was not one of my more pleasant learning experiences. However, I still maintain that it wasn’t as bad as hitting a yellowjacket nest with the lawnmower.
* * *
My dad taught me from the time I was very young that we have power as consumers, and we should exercise that power judiciously. That includes the right to support with my dollars the people whom I believe to be assets to the community, and the right to deny my dollars to those who detract from the same. Similarly, we have the opportunity to share our experiences with others â€“ Iâ€™ve referred many people to local businesses whose owners are good stewards of responsibility, and have shared my refusal to do business with a few as well.
Since Dad worked for Union Carbide, we never bought any batteries except those made by Union Carbide. It mattered not that K-25 didn’t make batteries — it was company loyalty, pure and simple. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas night and the company store was closed; we simply didn’t buy batteries until they could be purchased from the right company.
On an individual level, it’s a very small impact, but small impacts add up over time. I’ll never hesitate to recommend my favorite hardware store, not only for the superb customer service, but also because the proprietor of that business is well known for giving back to the community. I’ve often recommended my favorite car dealer for his honesty and integrity, but also because he’s the partner in education for the elementary school that my children attended.
And though it happens much less often, there are a very few folks with whom I just won’t do business, or recommend such.
That is my right, and yours as well.