Common ground: Justifying your not-so-common hippie ways

Common ground: Justifying your not-so-common hippie ways

Home birth. GMOs. Co-sleeping. Vaccinations. Real food. Toxins. Think about all the hot topics that get people riled up. For many, choosing to go against “the norm” and live a more natural, back-to-basics life is an easy decision. For many, those choices only come after lots of research, deciphering, and small changes. Either way, making the decision to go against mainstream living can be both gratifying and challenging… especially when those close to you don’t understand why you do the things you do.

It seems kind of silly that anyone should have to “justify” their natural approach to life, but the truth is that going against the grain can bring some major headaches. How do you justify your not-so-common, crunchy-granola, hippie ways?

Every parent I know (no matter what they choose to do) make their decisions based on what they think is best. When hot topics come up a parent’s passionate side definitely shows up. Unfortunately I have seen a lot of ruthlessness on both sides of most debates. Bridging the gap between two very different approaches to life may seem like an impossible task, but ultimately it’s something we need to do. I have found that whether I’m dealing with family, neighbors, or anyone who doesn’t understand (or even challenges) the way I choose to live that there are few things I can do to help.

Educate

When I told my parents I was planning a home birth I could see their eyes widen with fear. I really didn’t want them to worry about something I felt so good about. (And thankfully they didn’t really “challenge” my decision, but I could still tell they were concerned.) After lots of talking, showing my research, and explaining why this was important to me they were very supportive. I’m not saying they would do the same, but the were much more comfortable with our choice.

Not every decision we make gains that same support from all those around us. And it’s also important to remember that when we ask for time to educate that we give time back to hear their ideas as well.  When our best efforts to explain our reasons gets overlooked or ignored, rather than throw daggers we need remember to be patient. Ultimately, all we can do is try to teach one another, show respect, and agree to disagree when needed.

Understand

I honestly believe every person wants to do what they think is right. Most people are not looking to harm their children, ruin society, or purposely destroy their own well being.  If our choices are not understood we can choose to get upset or we can choose to see the other side of the coin. By trying to see another perspective I’m not suggesting we give up our own ideals. But if we can locate the concern or confusion from those around us we generally will find that those concerns are rooted in a desire to be validated. Attacking anyone’s perspective does nothing to help the situation. It only widens gaps. If we can’t educate, we must at least try to understand.

Finding common ground: Justifying your natural approach to life.

Let it be

Ultimately, if we can’t find a common ground, we need to keep living in line with our own beliefs and not be teetered by what other people may think. We want our children to grow up in a world where love and understanding trump contention and finger pointing. Let’s set the example by living a life of integrity and respect for the choices we all get to make.

Tell me, how do you deal with others who don’t understand your choices?

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About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

9 comments

  1. Jodi

    Well, it sort of depends who it is that disagrees. If it’s friends and extended family, agree to disagree. If it’s your spouse, a great deal of compromise may be in order after fully communicating and understanding each other. For instance, I will never give birth at home because my husband is not comfortable with it. They’re his babies as much as mine so we find a compromise that works for us. I imagine one may have compromises with teenage children as well.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Probably not the most helpful, but sometimes it’s tempting, right? ;)

  2. Cameo

    I like to educate while getting others to think in a new way, challenging them to question why they believe the things they do. I believe simply living life by our own convictions and beliefs is what others see when making a decision to change their beliefs or habits. Being confident in your choices definitely has its benefits. People are curious. ;)

  3. Brittany Ardito

    Great article Robin. I can relate to all this. I constantly find my family and I being looked at like a science project by our relatives and friends because we don’t eat the Standard American diet and live the standard lifestyle. I find myself constantly being asked and having to patiently explain why we do what we do. I do get frustrated though- when they are eating fast food but look at my homemade lunch and drink like I am a weirdo and then constantly ask me “what is that”. Most of the time it is something simple like homemade salad or homemade beef jerky. But because it is the norm to order out for lunch and I bring my lunch- I am looked at like the outcast. It hurts sometimes..I am just trying to do what I think is best for my family and I get upset because why is healthy homemade food frowned upon (even at bible studies) but processed junk food is “normal” and even praised?! Sorry- I needed to vent :-)

  4. kamiko60

    I say to each his own. i dont pay your bills, i have no rights to tell you what to do, i wish that others respected me the same. my husband had a difficult time when i began prepping for disasters and making home made items. I fill those large empty heavy duty cat litter containers with water, and other homemade items. when he began seeing savings from my efforts, and the items i was stockpiling cheaply, he has resisted less and in some cases helped. I live in Florida, and hurricane season comes whether you want it to or not. i also lived in Nebraska, where my mom would prep for Tornado’s and being buried in blizzards!

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