Several years back I was a manager for a restaurant. Each shift that I managed involved a list of duties but one of the most important duties was to check the premises. I had to look for burnt out light bulbs, overflowing trash cans, lack of toilet paper in the restrooms, cigarette butts in the parking lot, gum on the bottoms of tables… The list goes on and on. I had to check these things at the beginning of my shift and also periodically throughout.
The reason for the check was all in the details. It was the small detail of seeing an overflowing trash can in the lobby that customers would say caused them not to return. It was the cigarette butts that were littered on the sidewalk that a small child would pick up as they walked in with their family. It was a guest that put their hand under a table and got someone else’s gum on them that made their experience unacceptable. Each one of these small details could cause a guest never to return. It was the small details that I had to look out for. “Think of this restaurant as your house” is what they would tell managers in training. Walk around and inspect as if you were inspecting your own property.
Fast forward to today as I drove with Brian to the store and he pointed out a plastic water bottle that was in someone’s bushes. He said “I’d hate to live there. Such a busy street, I bet they always have trash in their yard.” We then talked about why no one had picked it up. Why didn’t the owners of the house keep the bushes free of litter? Did they not notice? Don’t they care? The details.
As we drove it became kind of a game looking yard after yard and finding garbage. House after house that we passed had trash somewhere in the yard, on the street, in the driveway but it was everywhere. World, I wonder why?
I’m not sure about the rest of the world so I can only speak of my own family and home. When I finish drinking water from a water bottle…. I recycle it. When I finish eating a small bag of chips… I throw the bag in my trash. I don’t set the garbage on my table or counter and I sure don’t throw it on my floor.
Brian and I teach our kids this lesson too. Although, I don’t consider it much of a lesson but more common sense. What benefit would come of me throwing my trash on the floor of my house? Well sure, at first it would be a time saver but I think eventually it would not only prove to be disgusting but also dangerous, health and safety wise.
I have to be honest, I don’t think that I’m talking about rocket science here…. Yet in a ten minute drive we found over twenty pieces of garbage thrown about. Sure we could say why haven’t the owners picked up the trash that rudely landed on their property but I think the question really should by why did it end up there at all?
Would you do this at your home? Is this what we are teaching our children? I may be old fashioned here but I would feel horrible throwing my trash on someone else’s property. I may not know all of my neighbors. In fact I don’t know more than one or two. Still I have a respect for them as human beings that would never allow me to “Trash” their property. It is that same respect that we are trying to teach our children.
Cassidy will walk to the bus and pick up garbage that she sees laying around. Incidentally she will also pick up pennies if she sees them. Both habits she gets from her dad and hopefully someday she will grow up to have plenty of money and be neat:) My point really is that she notices that garbage doesn’t belong on the ground in our yard or anyone else’s. Are we the only ones that notice this?
We live in a nice area. Scratch that…. I don’t think it matters what area we live in. Trash is trash.. in a gated community or in a ghetto. I challenge any one that reads this to open their eyes tomorrow and notice all of the trash around you. I hope it makes you sad. I hope it disgusts you. Most of all I hope it teaches all of us a lesson.
Shame on us world for being so careless with our garbage. Shame on us for thinking that it is ok to throw our trash out or windows or on the street as we walk. Shame on us for not picking it up as we walk by and see it. Shame on us for not noticing the details. I notice them inside my home and outside. This is the place I live and I want to take care of it. The same respect I have for my own home I have on a larger scale for my street, my district, my city, my state, my country…. My world!
World, this is our home. Everyone of us are a tiny piece to a big picture and it is our picture. Lets paint it with beauty and pride for what is ours instead of painting it with trash.
P.S. Everyday I am posting a letter to someone. I write to the World, my kids, my husband… You just never know who I will write to tomorrow. If you like what you are reading please subscribe. Who knows, maybe the next letter will be to you! Thanks for reading!