Larry is pretty well known around these parts for his dedication to environmentalism. He stays busy with teaching kids the importance of recycling and picking up trash not just in our neighborhood but this whole little corner of town. In fact, I’m guessing that’s where he’s disappeared to tonight while I’ve done a few chores inside.
It might surprise him to know I was super involved in planning our Earth Day festivities when I was a student at Gardner-Webb. My friend Chris and I worked hard calling environmental organizations and asking them to send us materials and give away items. They did, and we shared them as prizes at a campus wide picnic our group had arranged. Food service fed us all on nonbiodegradable styrofoam plates, many of which were strewn over the campus lawn when we finished. (And we had the pleasure of picking up.)
Another day some of us picked up trash on the hillside near the one of the guys dorms. For our efforts, we were rewarded with a cascade of paper and more thrown out on purpose the next day.
Some people in our area throw out trash right in front of our house. I just tell Larry that at least they make it convenient for him to get it.
My point? It’s not really that people can be jerks sometimes. It’s that each of us can make a difference — in the environment, in the fight against hunger and poverty and illiteracy, in the spreading of kindness. Don’t let other people’s poor (or ridiculous!) choices dampen your drive to make a difference. The world, the kids, the hurting need us.
And, for crying out loud, give a hoot, don’t pollute. It makes Woodsy sad.