Humble in acknowledging our human ancestors real knowledge of the plants and minerals around them. Also humbly acknowledging that science has revealed an understanding of plants and minerals that allow us to use them more effectively. Also, recognizing that both ancestral wisdom and scientific innovation have their limits and their dangers. And finally, transparently and courageously admitting that we don’t know how to accomplish everything we want. We want safe, easy and natural products that help us without future harm to our planet or our bodies. However, there are many solutions my company, myself and humankind has to discover and/or implement.
The Era of Chemicals Dominating is (Hopefully) Ending
The twentieth century saw the world mesmerized by the miracles of science and industry. We placed our trust in the discovery of never-before-possible solutions. We embraced newfangled chemically complex products. We discovered new, easy ways to clean, deodorize and lubricate our world and our bodies. Unfortunately we were so impressed with the power of science that we refused to see the consequences our discoveries had on people and the land. We also forgot the knowledge and traditions of our ancestors.
But we’ve now seen the cost that comes with some of these innovations. How chemicals have invaded our earth, polluted our skies and our bodies. We want the perfection of science, the convenience of our scientific innovations without hurting our environment or ourselves.
Must We Pick a Side?
So today there is a war between natural skin care and chemical laden skin care. Many of us feel we must pick a side. We want to do the best for the planet and our health but is rejecting all chemicals the way? Some companies will lead you to believe “yes.”
People on the side of nature tend to reject scientific names and things that aren’t easily understood. I think we correctly see how the greed of big industry has introduced cheap chemically laden ingredients into our products in order to make a profit without concern for the environment or the long term impacts. We have lost faith in big industry and the science they endorse.
However, unscrupulous companies and individuals are now taking advantage of our loss of trust in technology by rebranding, misleading and even making products that are solely developed to appeal to our desire for natural irregardless of how they work.
I firmly believe that any position that is extreme, that rejects anything that isn’t natural or rejects anything that isn’t 100% scientifically backed is ill-advised.
I see this time as the painful end of our blind love affair with technology. Now we need to define what our relationship is with nature and science. We see the the pitfalls of technology and also the dangers of unfettered science. We want to be healthy, protect other living things and the earth. But does this mean we must go back to living in caves with tangled hair, smelly armpits and parasites? I don’t think so but I do think that it requires us to face a few facts.
Companies Don’t Make Body Products for Us
One fact is that companies exists to please stock holders – in other words – to make money. They do not exist for us. Therefore, they can’t be trusted. That doesn’t mean that don’t want us to like the products, they just don’t care how they achieve this. They figured out that they can profit from the war between natural and chemical skin care.
I have a philosophy that I think brings a form of peace and harmony between nature and science. I try to apply this philosophy to everything I do at Ziryab’s Body Brew. In order to stop this useless fight between science or nature, we must implement radical humility and transparency.
Humility and Transparency
We all must learn to admit there’s a lot we don’t know about nature and science. The ability I admire most is the willingness to admit one doesn’t know everything. While I wish someone knew all the answers, the truth is no one does. Anyone who pretends they do is, in my opinion, is destructive. Their false knowing discourages exploration, experimentation and discovery. The ability to be humble inspires my trust and confidence.
There’s a lot to know and a lot not known yet. Admitting this truth shows wisdom. For instance, I have learned that I don’t know how to make the perfect body product most of the time. A perfect body product would be 100% natural. It would contain no preservatives, no chemicals, no emulsifiers and pose no threat to any living thing. A perfect product would be organic, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Plus, it should also be affordable to everyone so saving the planet and ourselves isn’t just for the rich. And of course, it should also always work as well or better than its chemically laden counterpart.
If the above list of challenges doesn’t inspire humility, I am not sure what would. Yet how many body product manufacturers claim they have achieved all of this and more?
Lack of Humility Creates Lies
Most manufacturers proudly brag at their ability to “naturally” defy nature. They can force water and oil together without emulsifiers, conquer mold and bacteria without chemicals and make things smell like things that don’t exist in nature naturally.
Without humility, we must lie to others and ourselves. Therefore, without humility we can not achieve transparency. Without transparency how can we trust what we’re purchasing?
Humility and transparency allows people to gauge what is natural, what is not and find a way to balance both.