Monday, June 25, 2012
The Garbage Man Cometh
It was a beautiful summer day and I wanted to do something outdoors so I decided it would be a good day to revisit a playground and do some more trash collection. Since my son Ben was home, I asked him if he wanted to join me. White plastic trash bags in hand, we headed to the neighborhood playground/baseball fields to do some work.
As we were on our way, Ben asked me if there was much garbage there. My answer was, "There is if you look for it." Like most things in our lives, it seems that we find what we're focused on. In this particular case this is not a garbage-strewn, graffiti-covered playground. Quite the opposite, it's generally reasonably well-kept and beautiful. And yet, when you start to look for trash to pick up, you suddenly see it everywhere you gaze. In some ways, it's a bit surprising since there are lots of garbage cans spread throughout the park so you're never very far from one. And still, their are empty plastic bottles, candy wrappers, food containers, and other miscellaneous pieces of trash all around the park.
We spent about 15 or 20 minutes strolling through the area picking up whatever we saw. As I greeted one woman who was watching her children play, she thanked me for what I was doing. It really was such a beautiful day that I absolutely didn't mind doing it at all. It felt good to make a difference in our collective environment, with little fanfare or attention. And it was even better to be able to do it with Ben.