Litter and Consciousness
LITTER and CONSCIOUSNESS
When my daughter was 4 years old, we had a favorite book. We read it many times. It was one of those, “Mommy, again!” books. We had it memorized. It had beautiful illustrations of landscapes with blooming plants and a pond with gliding swans. It was magical; something out of Walt Disney. The message of this lovely book taught awareness, responsibility, and right action in a most effective way.
The first lesson showed a boy throwing his soda-pop top on the ground and the caption read, “If we all throw our pop tops on the ground, we will soon have a pop top world.” The next page showed the beautiful landscape littered with pop tops. And so it went. There was a girl throwing her candy wrapper with the caption, “If we all throw our wrappers on the ground, we will soon have a candy wrapper world.” And the next page showed the landscape littered with candy wrappers. The littered illustrations were not pretty. The story continued. There were soda cans and we would have a soda can world and banana peels and we would have a banana peel world. My daughter and I started picking up litter whenever we ran across it. When we did, my daughter would comment, “If we all throw our ………on the ground, we will soon have a ………world.” And we would smile at each other. I knew she would never litter.
When I ride as a passenger in a car, I am often, too often, sad to see the litter by the side of the road. I watch in dismay as people throw lit cigarettes out their car window and empty wrappers and bags. When I leave the beach in the summer, I always end up with a handful of other’s left behind litter to dump in one of the many receptacles one must pass to exit the beach. And then there was the time I watched from my car in a parking lot as someone reached out of his car and emptied his ashtray onto the pavement. A little mound of ash and butts marked the place after he pulled out. I sat for a long time thinking, “What do all these behaviors say about a person’s level of consciousness?”
Consciousness is related to awareness, responsibility, and right action. We can gauge our level of consciousness by how aware we are and how responsible we are and how in right action we are. So ask yourself, “Where is my level of consciousness as reflected in my position regarding littering.” Do I litter? Do I not litter? Do I pick up other’s litter? Do I teach and model conscious behavior in regard to littering?
I was recently walking with my grandson who is 4 years old. The street we turned down was remarkably littered. There were papers and cans and junk all over the place. I thought to myself, “It is time to teach him the story of the pop top world.” It is time to raise his consciousness.
4 Responses to Litter and Consciousness
May 7th, 2015
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