Can I talk to you about a pet peeve of mine? Of course I can, this is my blog after all. I would like to discuss common courtesy. I was on my way home from spending the morning at the Lexus dealer. This wasn’t as bad as you would think. They have free coffee, WiFi, TV and comfortable chairs. At any rate, after being at the dealership for 3 hours I was looking forward to getting home.
I live near Guilford Battleground which is a National Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. Many people go there to walk, run and bike the many trails in the park. There is a road that runs through the park, shockingly enough named Battleground. There are crosswalks across this road and in North Carolina State law says we have to yield to pedestrians. Although I’m not really a nice person, I always obey a few basic tenants and one of those is “don’t run over pedestrians.” Long story short, I believe in stopping when I see people who want to cross the street. So today, there was a person waiting to cross and I stopped to allow them to do so safely. But did the other direction stop? In a word NO. Three cars continued through until FINALLY, a driver in the other direction stopped to allow said pedestrian to cross the road safely.
This is such bullshit. What is it with people that they can’t take a few goddamn seconds out of their day to be a decent person? I drive through this park at least once a day and this is not an unusual occurrence. People are so wrapped up in themselves that they can’t think beyond their own bubble. This led me to start thinking of other things that bug me (and there are a lot), one of which is littering.
Kevin and I have a joke that we are “excellent people.” This came about because when the kids were little, we had a sitter EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY NIGHT and we would often start the night with a movie and then go out for dinner. Movie theatres are usually disgusting, sticky places and there are times when you need to pry your feet off the floor. Kevin and I would get popcorn to share, he would get a Coke and I always drank water. After the movie was over, Kevin and I ALWAYS cleaned up our mess. What’s so great about that? Just the fact that so many people just leave their shit behind for the movie theatre people to clean up. I realize that this is a job for the movie theatre people but at what point did people get so damn lazy? We started the joke and say “let’s be excellent people today and pick up our mess.” Of course, we are always excellent people because I just don’t get humans who think that there’s someone always walking behind them cleaning up after them. That’s the basic problem. Nobody wants to be responsible for their own shit. Everybody wants somebody else to do it. It’s indicative of a huge problem in the world at large.
It’s the same with littering. What type of person just throws their shit out the window? Where do they think its going to go? What do they think is going to happen to it? Is it just going to disappear? Would you do this is your own house? HELL NO YOU WOULDN’T! But isn’t the Earth essentially your house as well? I mean, we ALL live here on it. Without Earths bountiful resources, we wouldn’t have SHIT and we’d also probably be dead. What is it in your car that couldn’t wait until you found a trash can? I don’t know about you but there are plenty of trashcans in my house. There is also a giant green can and also a brown can for recycling outside my house. I have never been to somebody’s house who doesn’t own a trashcan. Every restaurant, gas station, movie theatre, drug store, and rest area I have EVER been to has had a trash can. So what the hell are you doing dropping your shit on MY EARTH. Who do you think is going to clean it up?
A few years ago, I was driving one of my kids to swimming practice when I saw a few teenage boys I know throw their fast food garbage out the window. I was incensed. They were going to the same place I was so when I got there, I turned off my car and got out, ready for battle. Needless to say, my daughter wasn’t too thrilled to see me go after those kids in my state. “What the hell is wrong with you boys?” I yelled at them. To say they were startled would be an understatement, but I was pissed. I wanted them to understand that their laziness and lack of caring affected us all. When they litter, they just don’t spoil their own little area … they spoil all our areas. It’s a domino effect. So, after my brief little tirade where they sat there openmouthed and in shock, they both responded “Yes Mrs. MacDonald” when I asked if they understood.
I’m not sure what impact I had on them although I know one of them is scared of me to this day, but I will say that I refuse to be quiet and stand down on this issue. Screw up your own life, trash your own house or car, that’s your choice. But littering? Screwing up MY EARTH? That’s not fair and I won’t take it lying down. So beware all you litterbugs out there. If I see you, I WILL SAY SOMETHING …