The other day, Will and I decided to enjoy the nice weather and head to the park. We brought our cameras, of course, and started taking photos as soon as our feet touched the grass. Not even five minutes after arriving, I became distracted. This park, that I had played at throughout my junior high years and later, had changed. This change was not a good one, either. I remember it being a place that was so pretty and fun. Now? Well, this is what I spent my time photographing.
Maybe I was oblivious to this as a kid. Unfortunately, I think this situation has turned into a huge problem in the last few years. I know my mom wouldn’t let me play among the disgusting things that this park currently has. I don’t know many who would, if they really looked around before sending their kids out to play. Even putting children aside, anyone who wants to stroll through the park would find more than the expected. You would have to be pretty dense to miss all of the items left behind there.
I know this seems a little uncharacteristic for me to go on about something on my blog like this. I normally try not to, because I know that the last thing I want to see on someone else’s blog is negativity. However, I have a hard time turning away like I saw nothing. Especially when I was able to take over 50 different photos of some of the trash strewn about in only ten minutes!
And I can understand that napkins blow away, kids drop candy and other things in the water from time to time. But bottles of all kinds, paper, plastic, (used) condoms? Seriously. I don’t think most of those were placed accidentally. The items I saw discarded most on the ground were cigarette butts! I know that this is not uncommon, but why should that stop me from mentioning it? I understand that people have a right to smoke in public places, but why is it so difficult to walk to a trash can after you finish? Are your lungs so damaged already that this is impossible?
The saddest part about it is that I have noticed most other places in a similar, or sometimes worse, state than this. What has happened that we think this behavior is ok? It is not hard to clean up after yourself. It is not hard to leave things the way you find them. It is so frustrating!
I think it is obvious that I feel very offended by what I have seen over the past few days. I think it is completely justified. In an effort to take this realization and create some good from it, I am planning on taking time every week to clean our world up a bit, starting in good old Springfield, MO. Whether it be the grounds of my apartment building, parks, or parking lots, I want to clean things up. I feel a strong responsibility for others’ actions and my lack of action up until now. In some ways, I am no better than those slowly junking up my home. (Thanks, by the way. Please sense my sarcasm.) While working toward this, I plan on taking my camera with me. I want to document this journey. I also want something to show others to help encourage them to live a cleaner life, so that others can as well.
What are you doing to help yourself and others?
p.s. I know that some of you may have found this post too harsh at times or even felt offended. I am sorry if you took offense, however I will not apologize for anything I have said. They are true feelings and it is just that important to me to say something. I hope you understand, at least, where I am coming from and leave kindly, whether you agree or not. Either way, thanks for reading and, as always, I sincerely hope you enjoy life until I write again. :)