ironphoenix (ironphoenix) wrote,

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Kudos to a woman I've never met, but seen often.

Every day, I drive to and from work along Carling from Moodie to Herzberg, and pretty much every day, there's a particular woman walking to or from work at Shirley's Bay. It's at least a couple of kilometers of road, and she's out there rain or shine.

Now, I'm not impressed just because of her dedication to walking. I've known lots of people with fitness regimens ranging from the lackadaisical to the insane. No, it's what she does along the way that amazes me.

She picks up litter. Every day, going down one side in the morning and up the other in the evening, she carries a plastic bag and picks up whatever junk heedless jerks tossed out their car windows and off their bikes since the day before. It's a tiny thing, right? Keeping a small segment of road on the edge of a medium-sized city free of litter. But all the good things are little, one by one. Evil puffs itself up to look impressive, and the media falls into the trap. Thousands or millions of people, all hurt in one common calamity, makes easy reporting. To help thousands or millions of people, though, usually requires thousands or millions of individual, tailored actions. Each of them is too insignificant to merit column-inches or air time, and nobody has the time to cover them all, so they get lost in the sea of Great Events.

Whatever inspired her to take up this hobby, I salute her. If everybody went around making the world incidentally better wherever they went, we'd all be a lot better off. I sure don't litter much now, because I'm always wondering who'll pick it up, and what right I have to make their life that much harder. If I don't contribute to the problem, that's at least a step towards being part of the solution, right?

I'd ask what you're going to do with your junk next time, but if you've read this far, I'm hoping I can guess the answer already.
Tags: musings
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