Not so long ago, I was walking on the street near my old place of employment. After sitting for 8 hours in the workplace, it felt amazing to be moving around. The walk was not that eventful except for a few random thoughts swirling in my head. I was walking so leisurely, in a pace that matched my light-headed mood, when I came across a bunch of well-dressed people.
I was heading in the opposite direction so I saw how most of the girls wore heavy makeup. The guys looked dashing with their suit-and-tie outfit. The group was talking so loudly. One of the girls was sipping soda from a straw dipped inside a plastic container. She was yapping something to her friend - sexy dress, high heels, pretty face and all.
And then the unthinkable happened.
Just as our paths crossed. The pretty girl dropped the plastic, along with the straw, on the drainage in front of us. She did not even glance or hesitated. I was aghast, my mouth half-open. I wanted to tell her off but there were so many people beside her. The group was moving so quickly and other passers-by started blocking my view.
I could not, for the life of me, put the two images together even though I know for a fact that it wasn't an uncommon situation. A pretty girl throwing her trash wherever? Everyone does that, regardless of appearance. But why can't I seem to swallow what I had just witnessed?
Sure it's a "simple mistake," which of course can be corrected. Maybe it was something else. Why did it bother me so much? I asked myself. That's when a profound realization struck me.
I realized that caring for others, for your surroundings, is no mean feat. It takes a lot of effort to think outside of yourself and understand that we're not the only ones existing on this planet. That it's so easy to get caught up in everyday affairs and forget the existence of other people.
I wanted to tell that girl that she's really attractive. It's just sad that what she did was the exact opposite. The plastic and straw she carelessly threw could clog up the drainage system. When this happens, in the event of a heavy rain, the whole area would be flooded with water. And we all know that during a flood, traffic is horrible, hundreds - even thousands - of people can get stranded, and houses made from light materials may be washed out.
I wanted to tell that girl that she's really attractive. I'm just sad that she did not think of the consequences when she refused to dispose of her waste properly. That a single thoughtless action may affect a great number of people - even people you care about. That beauty can only do so much and you can be so much more.
But the thing is, I wasn't able to tell that girl. I may have failed in my mission. So I am now sending this message to everyone here, hoping to rectify my own mistake.
At the end of the day, it is not so much on how you look. It is far more important that in everything you do, in every action you undertake, you pay attention to other people and put yourself in their shoes. Think about how your actions will affect them. The environment may not be a big issue to others but failing to protect it even in the simplest of ways can lead to dire consequences.
Just as Hugo Cabret said: "... the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too."
We're all part of this big machine called Earth. It is our duty to make it a better place for everyone.
Dear xTinx - Don't be so hard on yourself. You are human too. Respect that about yourself and forgive yourself, you can only do what you can do. You wrote this article that helps others see the error of this young woman's ways, and it will be helpful. I find sometimes it is just as easy to pick up the garbage and put in it the bin, and then the concern is a mute point, for we can only change ourselves. Keep writing!!