The Beauty of Garbage

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Most Sunday mornings, I take yoga for the benefits that it provides to my physical and mental well-being. When I leave class, I feel better as a whole. I have a clearer mind, more energy, and a better outlook on life.

Well, I was on my way to class one morning and I notice this man picking up garbage and depositing it in bin. Then he’d move to the next piece of garbage floating around on the ground, grab that, and throw it in the bin too.

Although it was only a matter of seconds, I watched this guy pick up numerous items that others had discarded on the city streets and move them to the one place that removed them from site and ensured that they’d wind up where they needed to go: the trash bin.

My first thought when seeing this is that this guy really treasures his neighborhood. My second was, am I really so busy that I can’t stop and pick up garbage around me to ultimately make the world a better, more beautiful place?

Certainly, one could argue that there are people employed to take care of this for us, but the reality is that it’s up to each of us to do our part. If we all just turn a blind eye to these sorts of things, arguing that “it’s not our responsibility,” before we know it, we’ll be walking around in a world riddled with debris so thick that we’ll need to wear boots.

Of course, part of this responsibility means not dropping garbage in the first place. It’s losing the attitude that minor indiscretions are no big deal because someone else will come along and clean it up. It’s changing the way we think so that we’re always focused on the greater good, not simply on what’s easier for us at the time.

When we all do our part, the world becomes a better place. We feel less like we’re picking up after each other and more like we’re working together. This takes us from having the mentality of being a parent who must always nag and gripe, to the mindset of a teammate who pulls his or her own weight.

This creates a whole different feeling, one that is more positive and hopeful. It also starts this snowball effect where others who witness these actions start doing their part and, before we know it, the streets and homes around us have more dignity because we’ve treated them accordingly.

I doubt that the guy I saw that day knows what a profound impact he had on me, how he changed the way I’ll conduct myself in respect to his example. Now imagine if I could have that same kind of impact on someone else. Now there would be 2 of us who had been inspired to do more.  Now imagine of each of us took the time to do a little more. Together we could all do our small part to make the world a better place. All because one man took the time to throw a piece of garbage in a bin.


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