The wind was both cold and strong when I set out on my morning’s run. I never have a goal; I clear my head and let the rise and falls of the terrain guide my pace. Today though, I couldn’t help but notice the trash lining the road: The detritus told me a story that I couldn’t ignore.
Beer bottles and cans, miniatures, and empty cigarette boxes informed me that people were out, in their cars, partying and discarding the evidence such that no one would see of what their night’s activities were composed. At first, I let the cold wind wash my thoughts and I ignored the detritus. Soon, though, each stride brought me to more alcohol and nicotine trash and the more I saw, the less I could ignore. After about a mile, I had seen enough.
I headed back to my house and grabbed my camera and a trash bag. I walked the route that had I had intended to run and I snapped the scraps of a hard night’s party. What infuriated me was that I could only deduce that these remnants reflected what may have been death machines traveling on their kill missions. Innocent people could be suffering upon the discarders’ path. Hell, even if they made it home, I had no doubt that some form of violence would await those who left behind the data that they drank and smoked while traveling around my town.
I picked up the bottles and cans and boxes and collected them in the trash bag. I did so, not because I’m a tree-hugging environmentalist, but because I wanted to show that even though those who littered don’t care about either their bodies or our planet, someone does. My actions may be quixotic, but if everyone did a little something to show they care, maybe those who think it’s a good idea to drink and party in a car will think twice before they do. Maybe through small acts of caring, we can prevent tragedy before it strikes. Maybe, just maybe….