- January 27, 2012
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There are a few things in life that drive me absolutely crazy but my number one is a person’s lack of consideration for other people and/or nature. Don’t even get me started about people polluting, not caring to recycle, or straight out abusing resources. There’s nothing like going for a walk down the block with my family and seeing trash or dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk. When we go on outings my kids already know the routine, that if we see trash they’re prepared to help pick it up. It’s not fun but I want them to learn to be responsible, have good values, and realize that they can make a difference, while I still have that influence. Yet the fact that there are people out there who are so inconsiderate still surprises me as I encountered just that sort of a person yesterday.
It’s not fun but I want them to learn to be responsible, have good values, and realize that they can make a difference, while I still have that influence
My daughter and I were on our way to my mother’s house. As we were sitting in the car at the light waiting to turn onto her block, I saw two women in their mid 60’s, each walking their dog and standing in front of her house. It was a slow light and as we sat there, we watched as one of the ladies’ dog defecated on my mother’s lawn. No big deal, right? The light turned green and as I made my turn, I saw the women walking away without picking it up. Happens all the time I’m sure. We pulled into the driveway, and my daughter had to dodge the poop as she got out of the car. I called out to the woman, who was only 15 feet away, whose dog had done its deed on the lawn, “Excuse me!” She sounded annoyed as she replied- “Yes?” In a calm voice I asked her to clean up after her dog. “Oh, I don’t think that’s mine,” she said looking over to her friend for support. “You don’t what?” I asked. I lost it a bit at that point, though I know better, and said, “Are you (%(#%^) kidding me?” She continued with her ridiculous denial and said, “I didn’t even notice him stopping there…” and she gently tugged at her dog’s leash. I cut her off in mid sentence and tried to regain my composure. “My daughter and I saw your dog poop on the grass as we sat. Now you want to lie in front of her?” I asked. She looked at my daughter and reluctantly walked back saying, “Okay, even though I don’t think it’s mine, I’ll clean it up for you.” She pulled out an old tightly wrapped bag, which she’d probably been carrying for years, without any intention of ever using. Though her dog had clearly pooped on someone else’s lawn (it was probably still warm when she picked it up, gross I know), she still was not willing to accept responsibility. It just blew my mind.
Just because you don’t witness the results of your actions immediately, doesn’t make something wrong become right.
My daughter and I didn’t have to go into a long discussion because she already knew how I felt about peoples’ inconsideration for others and lack of willingness to accept responsibility. The reality is that everything has a price. Just because you don’t witness the results of your actions immediately, doesn’t make something wrong become right. Make no mistake about it; it impacts others directly. We might not always know or want to know who will clean up after our messes when we leave them behind. But nothing is free. If you don’t clean it up, someone else eventually has to even if you choose not to see it! Sometimes people want to do the bare minimum, not really thinking about who’s going to be burdened with additional work. This can happen with situations– work, financial, inter-personal, and environmental. I teach my children to take responsibility and contribute as much as they can, regardless of what others are doing, so they can make a difference wherever they go. They understand that if they invest today, it’ll be there for them to enjoy tomorrow. Everything has a price so, at the very least, carry your own weight and don’t pass the buck. Think of the example you are setting for your children and have pity on the rest of us. Not that I feel strongly about this! :)