In Judaism, “tikun olam” means repairing the world. Today, I repaired my corner of the world by cleaning the street. Yes, I looked like a mad woman, but who cares? What made me decide to do this?
We own a mutt, half whippet and half chihuahua (don’t ask) – a rescue found on the side of the road a decade ago. “Missy” is a spunky little thing and so ugly she’s cute. I usually walk with my friend, Robin, but today decided to walk with my dog friend, Missy. I couldn’t find a small scrap bag to clean up after her so I took along a large white garbage bag. On the walk up the lovely historic treed and Spanish-mossed avenue, I spied gross things like empty beer bottles, squashed up soda cans, styrofoam cups, torn plastic bags, metallic objects of varying dimensions and a skeleton that I mistook for white packing material until I bent down to pick it up and jumped back with a stifled scream. Those poor armadillos. That skeleton was in the last stages of deterioration… Sorry, I digress.
Bottom line. I don’t live in the inner city but in a greening, wet forested town with dogwood blooms and red-tipped maples. How disheartening to travel on foot and view the juxtaposition of trash against such an artistic backdrop. On the way back from the three and a half mile walk, I picked up every piece of gross plastic, metal, broken glass and wire that the ignorant throw from cars. My garbage bag grew large and heavy. Bicyclists rode by and thanked me. Drivers honked and waved. I felt good. I was repairing a tiny corner of the world. If each of us took a medium sized garbage bag and cleaned up each time we walked the dog, we would be contributing to a cleaner community.
How easy to do something for others.
Try it next time you walk. Or let me know how you repair your corner of the world. I’m interested.
Till next time.