Yesterday I went to Street with Adriaan. He needed to stop by several businesses in the rural areas of the Western Cape and the drive occupies a lot more time than the meetings themselves so he wanted the firm. It’s a gorgeous drive, one filled with diversity, grandeur, and wonder, and I am always eager to tag along, enjoy the beauty and the time. So, I packed my computer, camera, and a hearty supply of food and hit the street.
However, as is always the case on those excursions, I was saddened by one element of the environment. Litter! From Cape Town to our final destination of the day, the banks of each flow were lined with clutter. Each roadside stop was blanketed with milk jugs, potato sacks, soda cans, chip bags. . .you name it. Litter was caught in fences, clinging to Aloe Vera, rather than so beautifully adorning treetops.
It appears that barely a day goes by that I do not witness somebody boldly shed their garbage in the parking lot or tossing it from the car window. It is as if they think there’s staff available to pick up after them, as though it makes no difference at all, that they don’t have any lack of responsibility or maintenance. It’s thoughtless. It’s destructive. It is WRONG.
South Africa is among the most gorgeous areas in the world. The environment is nothing short of magnificent, awe-inspiring, majestic, and marvelous. However, to see it littered with everybody’s trash is disheartening. And I can not help but want that same type of effort to be launched to bring change. I recall an advertisement in the nations when littering was debatable. I think it aired in the ’70s but I could see it as though it were on TV now. Traffic is buzzing down the busy interstate, people throwing their garbage from the car window and ongoing mindlessly for their destination. An American Indian, representing the purity of this property before modern civilization, is standing on the shoulder with tears flowing down his face as he observing the environment littered with debris, further destroying the precious gift of nature and the provision it makes for humanity.
South Africa wants something like this. We desperately want, amid all of the other issues that are being faced, to heighten awareness of the destructive habit. I don’t have any clue where to start yet I’m compelled to do something. Maybe just writing about it is going to help raise awareness. I could also send this post to neighborhood organizations that promote social causes. Still, I know these tiny gestures will not tidy up those waterways and the rest of the magnificent features of the Southern African environment. There needs to be a huge scale combined effort matched with individual responsibility for real change to happen.
And that takes me to my point now.
Last week I introduced you to the notion of Environment as an element of health. Especially, I presented home and landscape design, and each of the components therein as having a significant effect on our wellbeing. I dedicated to bring posts and many different other opportunities to the image of Elements where we explore how to make a lifestyle of real wellness. I realize that a federal littering crisis is a little wider than our backyard and household conditions yet I can’t help but make the association to our environmental health. I can’t help but believe that as little as our unique gestures might be into the larger picture that our combined effort will in reality initiate large-scale change and secure the guarantee of our authentic wellness.
Littering impacts our lives in ways the majority of us fail to understand. It impacts our water source, our food chain. It kills wildlife and pollutes the sea. And eventually, all of this impacts what ends up on our dinner tables and in our lungs. The simple reality is that the destruction of clutter goes far beyond the roadside or parking lot where we pitched out the garbage in the first location. So YES, clutter is a problem to our wellbeing and YES, I, and you can do something about it by taking careful and proper care of our personal space, our personal environment as a combined attempt to impact the larger environment of nature.
We have to pay more attention. We must be aware and we surely must be more accountable. Our lives, our wellbeing and that of generations to come and Mother Nature herself is at stake. We can exercise, eat right, and forgive ourselves and others. We can take a journey of recovery from past abuses and old wounds. We can decorate our houses and landscape our lawns all to make wellness for ourselves. But if we don’t extend that care to character, with time, we’ll have none of the remainders to bother with.
We use it and abuse it as though it’s only to serve our whims and desires. But since the start of time and life, we’ve been given the task of caretaking. Yes, it makes provision for our lives but the environment isn’t our slave. We want to tend the garden, nurture, protect, and defend it. It’s time. It’s time for South Africa and some other place on the planet that dismiss this vital element of health to stand up and make a change.
How are you going to be part of the shift? How are you going to help clean up the mess and protect our most precious wellness source?
Me, I will send this letter along to anybody I can think of to send it to. I will continue to pick up crap on my walk into the gym and I will pray that God will reveal more ways to take the initiative and influence positive change. Will you join me?