I walked behind 3 teenagers while my partner P. and I were walking our after lunch walk. They came out of the bus, coming home from school and heading towards home. While walking along the river these teenagers were eating some snacks and when they were finished one of them made a wad out of the paper of the snack and before I knew it she threw the wad into the river. I was amazed about all the memories, opinions, emotions and feelings that came through.
First of all I didn’t belief what I just had seen, did she throw the wad in the water or didn’t she. I asked P. if I saw her do this and he confirmed and said: “Yes, she threw it in.” I always get mad when people throw things in nature when there is absolute no reason at all for doing so. Along the river there are waste baskets and such a paper wad one can also hold in one’s hand till one is home. Then P. said: “Well it’s just their upbringing, they probably never learned to not throw waste in nature.” and directly after that he said: “But I’m just justifying why they should throw the wad into the river.” And that is the whole point they haven’t learned how to act around refuse/garbage and they never figured it out by themselves. So pure inherited ignorance.
After I was sure that she had thrown away the wad I asked myself if I should confront her with it. Directly I answered myself not to. Was I afraid to stand and confront these teenagers? No not really, I have done that in the past and the results are zero. When I confront another with a point of which they are not aware of within their current life, they will look at me as if I’m going to attack them. That’s what I experienced before, I frighten another system that acts upon this fear with protecting itself. So when you do this with a group of teenagers they intensify themselves as a group and will react in spitefulness or in another agressive way.
So I considered that confronting them wasn’t the way to approach this issue, they wouldn’t understand my point and in their mind they would form this negative connotation whenever the memory of throwing away a paper wad would come up. Well this is kind of a weak excuse of me, because I cannot take responsibility for another persons reactions. At the same time as making this weak excuse I felt weak for not really doing anything and letting my mind do overtime. Although it may have felt that I didn’t stand and I didn’t act, it’s simply a feeling. When I look at it in common sense I can see that on a bigger scale confronting them would have made no positive change, meaning a change in the best interest of all.
The issue is as I said before the upbringing and the awareness within society that is lacking. My kids have twice done a great village cleaning action with their school. Going around the village with a garbage bag and pick up street refuse. For kids in the age of 8 till 10 being all morning outside and not having school is always fun, for whatever reason it may be. So do they learn a lesson with cleaning the village? NO. The problem with these seemingly little tasks of responsibility is that when you do not keep repeating them at school and at home it will never become automated. If it needs to be based on awareness the world will, before the awareness appears, be covered in paper wads.
I’m from a generation that did throw away their stuff in the bins out of fear for adults that certainly were going to say something about it. Now we are the parents and adults and we do not like to confront another with this responsibility as we didn’t liked it ourselves when our parents frightened us for not throwing stuff in the bin. And there we go, a whole generation that’s reaping the fruits of our fears that our parents brought onto us. A nice way of making a circle round.
We are all living in this eco-no-my and we should be able to hold each other and ourselves accountable for these irresponsible actions, without being seen as mean or getting threatened mean. If we cannot get the small things right how on earth will we make a change in this world? So we need, as so many things, solve this at the root of the problem and that’s education. We acquire a lot of knowledge that we probably never use in our lives yet we are ignorant if it comes to polluting our planet. If we do it as kids on a small scale we will do it as adults on a larger scale. I mean what are empty car batteries and fridges doing in the forests? Certainly not to serve a cold beer to the goblins and elf’s.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to doubt my observation, of seeing the paper wrap being thrown into the river, for no reason other then hiding myself behind the fact that I didn’t see it happen.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel mad when someone else throws garbage into nature.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel mad at another for throwing away garbage while I work hard to do my waste separation without getting any recognition.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel mad for not getting any recognition while separating my waste.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear confronting these teenagers for the spitefulness or aggressiveness they might demonstrate.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have opinions about the behavior of teenagers when confronted by a stranger.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to act upon memories and past experiences and use that as a blueprint for my actions in the presence.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hide myself behind the fact that their reactions on my confrontation towards them will “damage” them permanently and give them a bad experience.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame myself for not acting when these teens were polluting.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take the feeling of not doing anything in consideration, while it’s nothing more then an energy and not real here within the physical.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear my parents when I would throw paper or refuse on the streets or in nature.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not confront my generation for being weak in their children’s education when it comes to polluting.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to educate my children to not pollute the planet with the staring point of fear for my parents as a child myself.