I walked twice today…twice! Getting back into the swing of things after a long winter’s gap. It’s not that I never walked during the colder months, but it was much more difficult to motivate myself. Now, though, the weather is perfect.
Along my usual route this morning, I came upon a grocery cart. It was sitting along the sidewalk on a back street. As soon as I spied it, I remembered having first seen it months ago. In all that time, no one had returned it to where it belonged.
Why would that be? Someone must have pushed from the store that owned it. Perhaps it was someone who needed it to get home but couldn’t make the return trip? Or maybe it was hooligans that rattled that thing a mile and then just left it lie? Or maybe someone just didn’t feel like taking it back? I don’t know.
As a witness now to that cart sitting in the wrong place for such a long time, I feel partly responsible for it. I mean it says the name of the store it came from right on the handle, so I could return it either by walking it back or by putting in the trunk of the car. Why should I just leave it on the street? Would it be that much of a hassle and take that much of my time?
What else is community responsibility but acting on something that needs to be done when you see it? I often think I should carry a garbage bag when I walk to pick up the considerable litter that lines the street, especially after one of our windstorms. Sometimes I find an article of clothing or some accessory lying in the grass and think I should try to find the owner. I do at times pull the errant weed but I didn’t plant flowers in the sidewalk gaps yawning in anticipation last year.
I don’t seem to take action very often. The diffusion of responsibility is great in a neighborhood. It seems that we would more likely to take action when something is for intents and purposes “in our own backyard,” doesn’t it?
What thoughts do you have about doing what you see needs to be done? Why do we or don’t we act?
I’m all ears…