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I am somebody (and so are you!)

October 7, 2012

There’s a war on the streets of the town where I live.

There wasn’t last night, but there is today. How do I know this? Because I just started it.

I’ve started it because I’ve had enough. Things have gone on the way they are long enough and I’ve decided to respond to it.

I just took the dog out for a walk, and while crossing the road noticed the entire corner of the pavement is covered in broken glass. Ironically in the name of safety I had to walk in the road to get by it. When I was done walking the dog I went back out there and cleaned it up, because if I don’t I’m pretty certain nobody else would. I say this based on a few Christmases ago where I cleared the road of ice all by myself. A few people thanked me, which was nice, but nobody offered to help. One guy offered me a borrow of his shovel, which was appreciated, but when I invited him in a friendly tone to bring it over and use it himself, he went back inside. This town cares not a bit.

Me, that’s a different story. Littering has bugged me (that’s a pun on the kids of my generation who was brought up on “don’t be a litter bug” that it seems only I paid attention to) my whole life. I haven’t knowingly littered in about fifteen years, which I think is pretty good going. But where I live, there’s litter EVERYWHERE, and I’ve damn well had enough. I’ve complained and moaned and whined impotently about it for years, but a friend (who knows who he is) posted a great picture on facebook that got me thinking:

“For a long time I thought, somebody should do something about this. Then I remembered, I AM SOMEBODY.” (capitals mine because that bit’s bloody important.)

So from now on when I walk the dog I’ll take a bag besides the one to clean up after him with, which I’ll use to pick up the crisp packets, the cans, the drink bottles, the cigarette packets… so many cigarette packets… To be fair, Abercynon doesn’t have as many bins as it used to, so littering at least has as much excuse (“where am I supposed to put it?”) as it possibly can (though it’s still a crap excuse when countered with the stellar advice given by anyone who gives a toss about where they live: “Take it home with you.”) I’m also going to write to the local paper when I’ve done posting this, see if I can’t get a story about it to raise some sympathy for us few in the soulcrushed minority who care about where we live but have to share it with the 98% who don’t.

Obviously this is something of a rant, but I hope it has some message for you too: You are also somebody, and you also have the power to raise awareness, take action, and hopefully make a change for the better. It’s a long fight that I’ve let myself in for, but win or lose it’s something I believe in, so I’ll fight it without regret for the stress and disappointment it will no doubt cause me. Because however bad it makes me feel, at least I’ll be doing something to stop it, and that feels a lot better than gritting your teeth and hoping it’ll stop on its own.

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From → Empowerment

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