This year I am blessed to live a mere mile from campus. This means that most mornings I get to walk to school, enjoying the exercise and chance to let my mind wander before the hectic frazzledness of the school day breaks over me. As I walk, I see bits of trash left behind by people who did not learn to not litter like I did when I was three. I am torn while I walk, because I do not want to leave the trash that is distracting me from my walk, but I also don’t really have the time or tools to do a major clean-up of the sidewalk.
I also walk home occasionally, and since I am in not quite as much of a rush to get back home, I can go a little slower. (Granted, slower for me is still too fast for many, but that is irrelevant.) Since I am on my way home, I also know that if I pick up something that can be recycled, I can immediately put it in the recycle bin outside my door.
Today, walked home earlier than usual, because I didn’t have my second choir practice, and it is forecast to rain hard this afternoon. As I was walking up the hill, almost to my house, I saw a can that was empty, laying in my path, begging to be recycled. I picked it up. (of course, what else would I do). But as I was picking it up, I had the realization that this seemingly innocuous bit of trash ling on the roadside was just that, harmless. But in another country, one ravaged and war-torn, (like any of those in which our troops are now serving), this bit of refuse could instead have been a disguised explosive, waiting to blow off my right hand.
How lucky I am that I still do not have to be concerned of these things when I am walking to school. There are many in this world who have learned to not pick up trash by the time they are three, either by instruction or example. I shall remain to be thankful that I am not required to test or be suspect of things lying on the roadside (beyond the spare fire ant).
And I am thankful that I still have my right hand.