There is theory and there is practice. The perfect and the good. The ideal, and what can reasonably be expected under a given situation.
We at Paleo f(x)™ have recently come under fire by some who were less than pleased over an Instagram post depicting one of our giveaway partner’s drinks lying upon a bed of multicolored lollipops.
Recently, a member of our Social Media team made a faux pas. She posted a photo of one of our giveaway partners, Zevia, and she was not able to see that the background she believed was a rainbow of polka dots (hat tip to Pride Month) were actually lollipops. The photo was posted from a cell phone, and the background was something easy enough to confuse. It was an honest mistake and one that has been blown up unnecessarily, with outlandish assumptions about the intentions of our company, our character, and linking both to the demise of the Paleo Movement.
It’s attitudes like the ones displayed in posts like this and this that caused us to create the “Don’t Let the Perfect Get in the Way of the Good” Mastermind Panel at Paleo f(x)™ in 2014. We added the panel to our lineup again in 2015 and thought we could put it to rest in 2016, but it appears the Paleo Gestapo has not gotten the message, so it’ll be back in 2017.
Our decision to support Zevia, which happens to be sweetened with Stevia, is one from which we will not back down. The obvious question that comes up is, “why?” To that, we say: because it is our policy to never allow perfection to stand in the way of the good. Zevia is a product whose mission we support. They hold several important certifications that we believe in. Most importantly, they are Non-GMO certified and Gluten-Free Certified. You can read more about their business transparency here. They support sustainability endeavors like the Non-GMO Project and we can get behind a company who puts their money where their heart is…because that’s what we do.
Though we at Paleo f(x)™ know perfectly well what the “ideal” or “optimal” in relation to human diet is, we will not shy away from a “good” substitute that nets an individual a momentum-building “win” in the moment. In our mind, Stevia is just such a substitute for all-too-common sweeteners like HFCS.
There are many products at Paleo f(x)™ that the Paleo Purists may not be happy with. These products allow people to make better choices than they were making before choosing Paleo. All of our vendors and sponsors are required to sign contracts that state they will not bring any banned ingredients to our event and acknowledge that it could result in their removal from the event, as well as a loss of booth fees if they fail to comply. Are they “perfect” Paleo? Nope…that does not exist.
In the end, we want positive movement forward. We strive for progress not perfection.
We are in the business of changing as many lives for the better as possible. That said, anyone who has ever coached in real-life, rubber-meets-the-road situations knows that the ideal is seldom, if ever, an option for the majority. Few people fall into the “just tell me what is optimal and I’ll do it” camp. We understand that. If one’s business is simply to identify what is optimal, they won’t have the same understanding. But they sure make a helluva lot of noise playing armchair quarterback to those of us who are in the trenches, those of us who have chosen to take the fight down to the personal level. And it’s at that personal level where the idealists fear to tread. And we get it: it’s not for the faint of heart.
It’s tough to know the ideal while recognizing that, in the moment, winning means having to coach to the good. We might eventually reach the ideal, we might not. In the end, we may have to settle for an 80/20 compromise. But that’s okay, because that’s still an 80% healthier person than what we started with. We have to be willing to meet people where they are to get them to where they need to be. Supporting Zevia to replace conventional soft drinks is one such practice.
While we certainly appreciate and applaud those who strive for and uncover the ideal for the rest of us, we are, in the end, a theory to practice organization. We’re okay with compromise in the name of an improved end-game. We believe in progress over perfection. We are about soul, and sustainability, neither of which can flourish under the unrelenting pressure of “perfect”. We won’t play small; we’re here to leave a dent in the universe.
So if that’s your jam, we’re your organization! If not, it’s best we part ways now to pursue our own ideas of how to change the world for the better. We wish you all the luck in your endeavors. But for those who want to stick around and fight the imperfect war in the trenches, who want to learn what we’re really about, we say raise your glasses of Zevia to toast our imperfection in the pursuit of progress.
We are Paleo f(x)™. And we are very proud of the (albeit, imperfect) change we have already made in the world, and for the change that is yet to come.
“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius
Heal thyself. Harden thyself. Change the world – Paleo f(x)™
Winding Road photo licensed under the Creative Commons.