Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Not NORMAL!



This isn't a normal Monday...but keep reading and stay sharp. My hands are twitchy. You'll get the full circle.

I realize that there are SOME people who DO give a lot of what they can to causes, to issues, to the “greater good”. Unbelievably I have recently met a person who doesn’t recycle.

A PERSON WHO DOESN’T RECYCLE.

Does this make any measure of sense to you?!  If it does, I’m guessing you don’t recycle, and I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you live in a country where recycling is IMPOSSIBLE, and not in the USA where recycling is practically a cliché. 

I shall also assume you enjoy the notion of living among detritus, and more on this later.

My in laws live in a pretty rural area. They don’t get the benefit of sewer services, water lines, or garbage service. They collect water in a cistern, get rid of human waste via septic tank, and create a landfill on their property for solid, consumer waste.  They have ZERO reason to be recyclers. HOWEVER!

Here’s what they do:  all food gets composted, and I do mean ALL food, not just the romantic tops of strawberries and celery...even the proteins. There are deer and fox, raccoons and other animals who take the leftover food. Paper is burned and metal is collected and hauled to recycling facilities. Everything else is buried in a homemade landfill.

In a household that began as 7 people and has grown to 21 when you consider the flock who returns each week for family meals and weekends of spending the night…there have maybe been SIX landfills…over the course of 30 years.  This is a family who has to figure out a way to create less trash BECAUSE they don’t have access to a tidy pick up service, or a drop off that’s less than 25 miles away.

What possible excuse does a family who lives in a metropolitan area, or even metro-near, have??

THERE IS NO EXCUSE.

I spend so much of my bleeding heart energy trying to make the world a safer, calmer, more loving place…asking people to think beyond their small circle and remember with their wallet, in even teeny tiny amounts, that a greater world exists and parts of that world have NOTHING. But I’m speaking to some people who cannot even muster the compassion to put some plastic or aluminum into a different trash receptacle.

That’s what it boils down. COMPASSION.  How compassionate are you? Truly.  Deeply.  How myopic is your view of the world?  Sometimes it astounds me how small people’s line of vision is…how if they took one tiny glance to the left or right, they’d see a whole world standing next to them.

But in their place of “I got what’s MINE” (that horrendous Terrible Two phase that working adults can re-enter) they allow to drop away the family of humanity. Sometimes in a family, you HAVE TO reach out and lend a hand to a brother or sister, or even a 2nd cousin on the side of the family you really don’t like; you do this because they are your FAMILY.

When people are stuck looking only at themselves, only at their things and their possessions, and what they want in the future, they walk away from the human family. Yes they’re rich in things and in money. For many people that is the very unfortunate measure of success and happiness, and it is a lie.

Mothers and fathers across the world wish for their children a mate who loves their family. Mothers tell daughters to choose a man who loves his mother…for the man who loves his mother will love his wife.  She will hold a special place in his heart. A woman who doesn’t love and respect her father will never put her husband in a place of partnership and equality…she will forever feel a sense of adversary with her mate. This is the usual psychobabble of mating advice that we pass on to our children.

If a person lives on this planet among the other souls walking it, be they black, brown, yellow or some version of “white”…and that person doesn’t see the family and the earth for who and what they are, I find it shockingly hard to believe that compassion is springing forth from their bones and blood. If you cannot even find a separate trash can for the glass and cardboard, how are you possibly taking a wider view of the world, of humanity, and be caring for US?

Why is it a weakness to have an open heart for those outside your inner circle, sometimes for those outside of YOU?  Why do we attach labels and monikers to distinguish those who favor keeping it all and making your own choices from those who favor giving it all out from a collective pot? Why isn’t there one overriding sense of US that captures the heart and mind?

I hate this post today because I’m preaching to the choir, as the saying goes. If you don’t agree with me, I’m not changing your mind here. And if you do agree with me, you didn’t need me to say all this. But I want to know where the compassionate soul of humanity has gone…as a collection. I need to know where the notion went that we each deserve. Have we ever even had it?

Because that’s it…we each deserve.

Whatever it is we deserve is up to us. Some people deserve school supplies. Some people just deserve a decent meal once a day. Some adults facing cancer deserve rides to chemo when family and friends are unavailable. Some girls in poor places deserve to attend school four weeks of every month instead of three because they have sanitary supplies…does everyone GET that need?? There are girls who miss a week of school every month because they have no way to publicly deal with their period: A BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION.  Can anyone imagine a man being denied education because of erections in adolescence? It’s ABSURD.

And yet I meet people who don’t recycle.

So this is all my opinion…and on a Monday where it decidedly does NOT belong, but it’s Spring Break week and my children deserve a mother who doesn’t tell them to go away because I need quiet time. This week there may not be posts after this one…even though you may feel deserving of them, as you should.

Be assured that Dirty Words will return with the requisite sarcasm you’ve grown accustomed to and with its usual frequency.  In the meantime….get a damned bin and separate out your cereal boxes, donate a box of tampons to a free store, or help a child whose legs have blown off by a landmine get some medical treatment. Drive a father or mother who’s fighting for their life to a chemo treatment, or send $5 to the Red Cross to help a family still living in a tent in Haiti or Japan. Be a better mother or father to your children, a better aunt or uncle to your family’s children by engaging those children and sending them out into this wide world with a sense of community and compassion.

Get out of your head and your circle and think of something larger than you.  BE a part of something bigger and better than just you.

Just freaking recycle: cans, glass, love, time, energy, money…all of it.

It’s NOTHING if it’s not shared, and if you’re not recycling that which is inside you, your humanity and your spirit, then you are living in waste and collecting such detritus that you might not survive its weight (remember that from the beginning…it’s not just about cans peeps! I tricked you a little).

Recycle your humanity. Where you give it away there will always be more. You will never lose by giving away of yourself and that which you have in excess.


*The gummy climber at the top is "unattributable"...it's everywhere. Whoever took that picture gets a giant thank-you from me because it perfectly captures why no task is impossible and why ANYTHING is worth it. So reach out and give yourself away. You'll only get better for it.

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