Stunned at Someone Littering

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Imagine being seated beside a 70-year old looking woman.

It’s a hot summer afternoon in a Philippine jeepney. The senior faced front; her all white hair facing you. She’s dressed like someone who’s going to the public market, confirmed by the sight of bayong seated between her feet. You heard the sounds of someone chewing on something.

In a split second, a plastic bag jumped off the rectangular window! You could hardly believe it was her, caught in the act! Littering! How could this elderly woman love her country back through what she did? How could she be deserving of being a role model to the youth? Who might have witnessed her environmental crime?

Your attention was unwillingly drawn. What would you do?

Questions avalanched through your head.

Was her bad habit out of convenience? Impatience for a country that has been poor for several decades that they lost sight of hope? Signs of aging or dementia? Psychological stress?

She should have not done that. Elders are meant to be respected. She should have been the younger generation’s guide.

It’s a real disgrace to see someone’s wrongdoing, right in the face. It’s not even an issue of who should litter and who shouldn’t. Littering is non-negotiable, universally wrong, forever!

In school and at home, we were excessively taught that we should properly throw our garbage; otherwise, they will come back at us in forms of drainage clogs and extreme flood that threaten our overall safety.

I hope this post would shed light on the best solutions to the littering problem I encountered. I honestly couldn’t fight back at her that moment. I lost my courage. I was in denial.

Seriously bothered by my overall experience, I asked my family around on what to do. They suggested:

Sadly, none of these things I did that day.

I ended up pretending not to notice her and stayed on the ride. I felt more humiliated on the inside, than I thought she did: the guiltiest I have ever been in my life!

Since I now know how it feels like not calling out someone else’s littering problem, or even wrongdoing, I promised myself that if I experience it again, I won’t hold back. This is my commitment to the world.

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Lace Sanico-Tuico

Lace Sanico-Tuico

Laidback. Listener. Lifelong learner.