Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Better World & Civic Duty

What do you think about all the trash on the ground? Do you ever pick it up?

Many years ago, a friend of mine was living in Tokyo teaching English, and he occasionally conducted his own little experiments in civic duty. He would walk down the street with an empty Coke can or a chip bag 0r piece of paper, and then he would casually drop it. After walking further on, he would stop and observe the trash he'd left behind. It was never on the ground for longer than a minute.

Ghandi asked us to "Be the change you'd like to see in the world," and since a student reminded me of that - in an essay earlier this year - I've tried to pick up a little trash here and there. Because I walk to work and to the store and around my community for exercise, I've been trying to make the world a cleaner - if ever so slightly - place. It's usually a bottle here or a flyer there, and I don't go out of my way to pick up everything in my view. If I did, I would simply never get where I was going. But it doesn't take that much effort to pick a few pieces of trash up and throw them away.

I know, I know, it's not your problem, and if you pick up other people's trash, they'll never learn to do it on their own. Duh. They're not doing it on their own anyway. And it's not really about them, it's about the community in which you live.

So consider making a small effort to be that change and make the world a better - a cleaner - place. Pick up some trash.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I am afraid of getting a VERY BAD GERM from picking up other people's trash; otherwise I certainly would. Often the litterer needs to be confronted; have you ever done that, said something like, "HEY, pick that up!" I do if it's a kid, usually, but adults... well, I like to keep all my teeth so I don't always bother with adults. Sometimes I will pretend to help someone "notice" that they "dropped something."

Yep. Passive-aggressive, a little bit. :)

mmazenko said...

I'm not talking about seeing the litterer. That never happens - I'm focused on all the trash around, including the hallways at schools. There's plenty to clean up.

And, I'm quite a germaphobe, too. But I wash my hands, and I really don't think that tuberculosis, or malaria, or anything is really lurking on flyers and bottles laying in the street.