Monday, April 10, 2017

Activity vs Achievement

Full Moon

You can blog about it. You can tweet about it. You can post all kinds of moody memes on Facebook about it. You can sign righteous online petitions and "like" your "friend's" rants until the fattest cows come moseying home. But unless you step out your door and do something about it, something concrete and measurable, something pure and real and decisive, you haven't really accomplished anything. 

What is "it" you might ask? "It" can be just about anything that concerns you, but in this case, for me,"it" is litter. I hate litter and, even more, I passionately hate litterbugs. People who leave trash on the ground to blow all over creation and get into rivers and streams or, worst of all, into the ocean, are the scum of the Earth. I'd like to spray them with industrial strength Round-Up and watch them squirm.

Is there really a place called Hell? Clearly I don't know, but if there is, litterbugs deserve an especially hot seat down there. Searing. Blazing. Roasting. Thermonuclearly blistering hot.

I am a Caltrans Adopt-a-Highway volunteer. Once every month I tackle a monumental cleanup of my local highways, about ten miles of rolling, grass-covered hills that lead to my home in San Juan Bautista. I like the process, actually. I get some great exercise and I normally run into something unusual that either makes me laugh (an abandoned bag of adult sex toys) or brings me some kind of natural joy (blackbirds, lizards, snakes, snails). I think of my county as my own huge beautiful park and keeping it clean gives me a sense of pride. 

Today I collected twenty-one bags of icky, sticky, yucky, mucky garbage and left them on the side of the road for the Caltrans crew to pick up and haul to the landfill. The stretch of highway I worked looks much, much better. Now I am pleasantly and thoroughly exhausted, but by tomorrow morning, I will be recovered and ready to get back out to do it again.  I won't be finished until some time on Wednesday. I won't quit until it's done.

Every month, I renew my determination to win this game, even though I know I never will, because there are many more litterbugs than there are highway volunteers. It's the same everywhere, which is really too bad for the planet - particularly bad for the people who live on it, eat food that is grown here, and drink water that circulates here. I have thought about this a lot and I see no acceptable reason for people who litter to behave this way. There is no justification other than sheer stupidity, laziness, and/or evilheartedness. Litterbugs simply suck at being human beings. In my opinion, they should go to Hell, the sooner the better.

So there. I have blogged about "it." Big damn deal. That's activity. Those twenty-one bags on the side of the road? That's achievement.

Peace, Love, and the Anti-Trash,

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