You Can Help Clean Up The (Social) Environment

Beyond the heated debates about The Green New Deal, renewable energy, and eco-friendly everything lies an environment in which we all exist day to day.  It is the social environment, the human community, our cities and towns and social media enclaves, where we interact.

This environment has been horribly polluted.  It reeks of spoilage.  Of decadence.  Of broken psyches and shattered imaginings.  Of vulgarity and violence and stolen innocence. 

Of altered images and confused self-promotion.  Of cynicism, greed, and despair.  Dystopian?  Indeed.

Take a moment to truly hear and see what is happening in too large a measure of this environment.  The pollution is personal agendas.  The corruption is crassness in all its ugly forms, verbal, physical and psychological.  Its destruction comes in the dismissal of kindness, gentleness, modesty, and goodwill as manipulative machinations of a privileged class.

This is an environment in desperate need of clean-up.  We can only hope it won’t survive another twelve years.  And here’s the bright line on the horizon:  This is an environment in which you can make an enormous—and nearly immediate—impact.  No donations required.  Just focus and discipline and trust.

See, what you do influences others.  Whether you listen or not, whether you show respect or not, whether you exhibit patience or not teaches those watching you how to do life.  Whether you smile or sneer, greet or snub, notice or dismiss demonstrates how you value anyone outside of yourself.  If your conversation is riddled with “I,” “me,” and “my” and punctuated with profanity, you declare yourself.  Same, too, if you turn your attention to the thoughts and contributions of others.  What are you declaring?

Here are some disciplines you can use to adopt your personal corner of this environment for clean-up.  Listen more than you speak.  Curb social media chatter.  Withhold your snarky assessment of everyone.  Yes, everyone.  Your contribution to noise pollution will decline instantly.   We thank you.

Scrub profanity from your vocabulary.  Years and years ago, my mother said, “The most unintelligent thing you can say is, ‘So?’’’  Today it is the f-bomb.  Please stop bombarding the world with unintelligent and belligerent expletives.  We get it already.  And we’d like to think of you as smarter than that.

Open your eyes to your brethren.  Men, women, boys and girls live and breathe right next to you every day.  They are not here for your entertainment or judgment.  They, like you, have hopes and dreams and frustrations and fears.  You may think them odd.  Chances are, they return the sentiment.  All deserve decency.

Environmental forces shape what we think and do.  They support growth or retard it.  You are one of those forces.  Right here, right now, you have the power to support or retard growth for yourself and those in your sphere of influence.  Discipline yourself to choose a response rather than react to a stimulus.  Decide your role.  Are you going to clean or pollute?  Focus your energy and trust your power of influence.  Forget about immediate gratification.  Play the long game.  The environment is counting on you.

Categories: Culture, General Advice