April 13th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 15
Pride for our home
Rick's Corner
I love living in the area that I do, I can lay my head down at night and not hear the sounds of the bustling city around me. I can look out my window and see nature in its pure raw glory and looking in the right direction without knowing any better I might even think the landscape was untouched by human hands. I’ll sometimes take a walk just to be “in it”, to be part of nature, to feel refreshed and invigorated from a thirst that only the forest can quench.

I’ll head down a path, to the tree line, onto a game trail and on to wherever my heart desires. I round a corner and I see the birds, I feel the wind and the fresh mountain air fill my lungs, I am instantly at peace, a sense of calmness, the feeling of perfection. A few steps farther and I see something in the distance like a bright neon sign intensely glaring from the darkness saying, “ Man has been here and look what he has done.” What I see is trash intertwined with the perfectly beautiful landscape degrading it to the scenic quality of an old dump. The peace leaves, the calmness and stimulation of the visual perfection are gone, replaced by shame, disheartenment and the mental picture of that first nations chief with a single tear rolling down his cheek. The trash is bursting from the soft green foliage, I see wrappers, cans, a tire, 2 diapers and whatever other refuse someone had decided would be better off here, in the heart of this enchanting place. We have all seen it, it is nothing new but I am still often left confused and fascinated at the reasoning and amount of carelessness involved in such an intentional and purposeful action. Why do some people think this is ok?
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Maybe their parents were those random campers who made a habit out of leaving their trash behind after a weekend of camping and passed on this terrible behavior to their children. Maybe they just don’t have a garbage or recycling bin at home (which seems pretty unlikely) or maybe and most probably, they just flat out don’t care. How is this even still happening in this day and age? After all the things we have been told our whole lives about the environment and littering and even just the common sense involved in keeping our home clean and pristine. We see documentaries about plastic filling our oceans or the impact our outdated disposal practices have on wildlife but still we see this behavior. How have we not, through generations, finally come to a point that waste and trash is not completely obliterated all together? If we can’t behave as guests on this planet then why are we not using biodegradable plastics or packaging that can more easily break down and become part of the earth again? If these Ideas and technologies are flawed then shouldn’t we be able to go out into the world, into nature and have respect, pride, admiration and the mindset enough to know that if we all behaved irrationally and ignorant our world would become one giant landfill? We would become Earth, the planet of ignorance, selfishness and trash. First nations still hold mother Earth in a very high regard, after all, she takes care of us so shouldn’t we bestow the same nurturing intentions in kind and simply be thankful enough to not toss our trash into the trees as soon as it becomes an inconvenience.
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It really takes no effort to behave responsibly and compassionately, in some ways it should almost come natural. We need to do better or at the very least we should show and share our appreciation on a daily basis, we should show our children the correct way to treat nature and reveal to them the inspirational beauty it holds. Show them we can enjoy nature and be symbiotic without taking away from it, without insulting it, without destroying it. I suppose my message is that this behavior needs to stop, we are guests here and we are leaving it to those who will come after. When is enough, enough? I feel as though if there is any hope for man co-existing with nature without treating it like a disposable paper plate, if there is any hope that the demise of our home won’t be because of man’s foolish ways, we as the successors need to show the new inheritors of the Earth the pride for our forests, the pride for our planet and how to have an instinctive, natural pride for our home.
April 13th ~ Vol. 85 No. 15
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