March 27, 2015

Beautiful Resistance

Beautiful resistance is everywhere because it is the natural response to harmful people and practices.

The capitalist consumer model is a monolith that will not easily be brought down. Over a long enough time frame it will be the author of its own demise, but if we wait that long we are sure to be brought down with it. 

I do not expect the collapse of consumerism in my time. It could take several generations for this behemoth to be overcome, or die a natural death. 

But that does not mean we can't chip away at it a little bit each day with every decision we make. Any time we choose to increase our own freedom and self-reliance can be an act of beautiful resistance. 

For me that means living a frugal, enjoyable lifestyle without most of what others take for granted. 

It means cooking all our food from scratch, and only driving when necessary. It means conserving resources, planting a garden and learning new skills. Boycotts and divestment can be personally satisfying and are powerful agents of change. These moments feel good.

Beautiful resistance happens with each decision that removes our support from a harmful system bent on planetary destruction. It is the natural response to harm, and while it may not topple the whole heap tomorrow, it will make it wobble and lurch closer to its ultimate demise. 

What forms of beautiful resistance do you prefer?


  1. Nice post. I grow food every year. I try and grow as much as possible, whatever our family will eat and I try and grow enough to preserve it through winter. I love "Grow food not lawns" movement. I sacrificed parts of my lawn to grow food and will probably sacrifice more in the future. I also live frugally, conserve, re-use, re-purpose and try to not buy anything unless absolutely needed. I use thrift shops if I can get what I need there. I boycott GMO and pesticide filled foods. I buy only organic and non-GMO products.

    1. Kamyria,

      Those are all beautiful acts of resistance. Thank you for mentioning them here. Perfect.

  2. Hi Gregg,

    what a good post. My small acts of resistance include wearing visibly mended clothing to work (in private schools where there is a definite dress code). I wear my repeatedly resoled Birkenstocks too, and although I have gotten some looks I have also received compliments! I have made a decision not to buy one more sweater made in China and will be knitting my next one, in spite of not being the world's best knitter.

    I also knit organic cotton dishcloths. This is a TINY bit of resistance, but just think if the billions of people on the planet all stopped buying synthetic, toxic dishcloths from China! I grow as much of our food as possible, and am currently contemplating digging up the driveway (where my clients come into my Studio) to grow Borlotti beans. It takes many rows of these to feed a family for a year and I'm determined to have a go!

    I would love to reach zero waste, but we don't have a wholefoods type shop in my town. I'm currently mail-ordering grains etc,.. in compostable bags, rather than plastic. Not perfect but the best I can do for now.


    1. Madeleine,

      I love your tiny bit of resistance - if we all practiced these things the world would be a radically different (and better) place.

      We have researched getting a hand-cranked flour mill and buying wheat berries by mail so we can create our own flour. Have not done it yet, but your post has us thinking about making it happen again.

      Linda wants to go all Henry David Thoreau and grow "seven miles of beans". We love beans... and HDT. Good luck with your growing on the driveway - such a good idea.

  3. Anonymous3/29/2015

    The little things we do everyday, that's what can change the future. All the things that have already been mentioned in these comments, they are future changing, while living fully in the present. Do good today, that's all we can control.

  4. What satisfying, supportive feedback on another great post. I am continually grateful for the inspiration you put out, Greg.
    For my part: I only purchase things that replace what has worn out from use, and then secondhand. I eat very little meat (a long-time veggie who wasn't feeling my best; I get to be flexible), I refuse to buy bottled water, and cook my own (organic) food, from scratch! We are friends with many farmers at our local farmers market and reduce car trips as much as possible. And we live in an apartment, which saves another lawn and all the amenities that single-house setups often warrant. And we use green energy (go, Green Mountain!). I am reading a library book right now titled "Take Your Time" by Eknath Easwaran-- very good for me.


Comments will be printed after moderation to eliminate spam. We are proudly a no buying, no selling website.

We enjoy reading all comments, and respond when time permits.

If you put a name to your comment we can all recognize you for your contribution.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.