I walk to next shop and whatever I buy becomes my business. I brush off curious eyes that try to look at what I have bought. At this moment it’s valuable and I can’t stand to lose it. But after a short while; maybe minutes, hours or even days, it becomes ‘useless’. It’s now trash. I don’t need it anymore. Where do I take it? Do I throw it out of the window so that it lands wherever? , do I look for the next trash bin and put in? What do I do?
Right from the time I became conscious, I have known that things I regard as trash need to be put in a trash bin. My guardians taught me that. At school I was also taught the same thing. And yeah the media too reminds me about it once in a while. With such knowledge I think I should not even wonder what to do with my trash. The answer is right before me. But why is this so hard for me to remember? Maybe it is just one of those bad habits that I have acquired and I find hard to drop. I know it’s bad because after dumping my trash in the wrong place I kind of feel guilty. The times I do it unconsciously especially when it comes to wrappers of candy, I am drawn back to reality when people look at me awkwardly. That’s when I feel guilty. But I’m so proud; I can’t allow their looks to ruin my day. I just assume them and wear a comfortable face; no remorse.
I have become so used to dumping that I don’t pay the garbage collection guy. I dodge him everyday –I think he’s given up already. Once in a while I burn my trash or take it where I have seen my neighbor burning his/hers. Most of the times though, I wait for darkness to fall before I throw it when no one’s watching. I don’t care where I take it, as long as it’s not next to my house. This usually gets me tensed and excited at the same time.
In the morning I walk to wherever I might be going for that day. Along the way I see lots of trash. I can hardly see mine. I didn’t know other people would copy this! The site is so disgusting that I almost change my route. But the other route is longer and I might get late. I persevere for this day.
The days that follow aren’t any better. The footpath has somehow disappeared. Now I have to walk through piles of trash. The rodents and the foul smell make me sick. Oh how I hate it! The people residing next to piles of garbage decide to burn them and I get relief.
I suddenly become sick. Doctor tells me it’s some upper respiratory infection and dysentery. I can’t seem to see where the infection is coming from. At least I know the cut on my leg was caused by some sharp object that hurt me when I was passing by the garbage site. So in addition to the medication, I get an injection for tetanus.
I go back home and nurse myself. It has taken me two weeks to recover. During my ailment I reflected a lot. I figured that my illness came from the garbage that is lying around. This has made me see things differently. If only I didn’t throw trash in the wrong place, am sure you wouldn’t. It’s not too late for me and you to make it right. We can unlearn anything negative. Let’s stop dumping for me and you!
My garbage is and should always be my responsibility.