While running along the idyllic Briggs Woods trail, with the birds chirping and the sun shining bright - I came along something. Something that didn't fit in with my serene picture. McDonalds bags strewn about, empty Bud Light beer bottles and some mildewing socks. Right there along the trail. After this display, I became more aware of the trash piling up on the greens. It became quite obvious that many people who frequent the banks of the Boone River could care less about the community they live in. Either they weren't taught as children how to properly throw away trash, are just plain stupid or have no respect for themselves. I can't believe that someone who can treat a part of their community in such a way could even possibly feel good about who they are.
The amount of cigarette butts littering the path - here is a fact: THEY DON'T EXACTLY DISINTEGRATE. Throw your trash in a trash can. I've seen used diapers - I happened to find one the other day on one of my daily runs. I have to seriously scratch my head in bewilderment at why anyone does this. And while I think that idiots might play into the picture - I seriously have to think that a lot of people think "it doesn't concern me."
But it does. Even if you don't think so, it sure does. When you are out tubing or canoeing - those 24-pack boxes and all the trash you throw out in the water does reflect on you. On you as a person, on you as a citizen of the community and you as a human being.
"But I'm working on my tan," "I'm trying to impress that guy or girl," "My goal here is to get wasted - not whether I throw my empties in the river." Grow a brain.
How is throwing my trash away going to help me? How is doing the right thing going to further me in life? It doesn't effect me.
That is what I kept thinking as I pounded the pavement, getting angrier about this trail predicament. And while the trash in our city parks is a problem - it goes farther than that. Oh, I'm talking about the garbage known as trash talking.
It has been frustrating hearing around town the negativity about, well, let's see - EVERYTHING. Rather than get off the couch and make anything happen, people would rather whine and complain about how everyone else is contributing and how it isn't being done right. Oh brother.
"Those people are ruining everything." "Did you see what they decided to do? That is wrong."
And when something good comes into the community, it isn't good. No-sir-ee. We must do more of our cry-baby routine and play the blame game and point fingers. The one thing that is most obvious in some people's minds? "This doesn't work best for me." "What more can you do for me?" "This is about me!"
Rather than volunteer to help out, bring new and fresh ideas to the table - we'll instead say or write awful, hateful things. We will belittle people to our friends over coffee. It's absolutely ridiculous.
As much as I am upset about how people are trashing our parks, our trails and not cleaning up their messes of their own yards and homes - it upsets me more about the garbage that is spewed around this town everyday.
There needs to be a definite clean-up in this town. Literally - we need to pick up our own trash and dispose of it in a proper way. And the same goes for our trashy mouths and negative thoughts. If you want something to change, change it yourself.
Guess what? It's not all about you. The people who are actually putting in the effort are most likely doing the best they can - and most likely getting no reward in return.
So everyone, let's stop acting like children and grow up. We can act like adults if we really try.