Complete Disregard is Learned

English: A cigarette butt, lying in dirty snow.

Image via Wikipedia

The other day, I was parked at the local Wawa-gas station having a cup of coffee with my husband.  Parked next to me, there was a woman who may have been in her mid or late sixties, waiting for her friend who went inside the store.  The woman was in the driver’s seat.  Just in front of her car, maybe about 15 steps or less, there was a giant trash can.  The woman chose to open her window and throw her cigarette butt on the floor, mind you, we are at a gas station/convenience store.  I could not understand this behavior.  There she was, less than 15 steps from a giant trash can, and probably had a trash compartment in her car, and she chose to litter.  I thought of saying something to her, but I stopped myself.  Instead, I looked at her, looked at the trash can, and moved my head from side to side – I’m sure she got the message.  I did not say anything because at that instant, I realized that if at that age, who knows, she could have been in her early 70s, she was still doing this, she must have done that her entire life, and my comment wouldn’t have mattered.

When I thought of it, her disregard for her planet, must had been learned long time ago, and she will probably go to her grave in this state of mind.  I am no saint, far from it, but there are things that baffle me, and they just don’t make sense.  This woman had no regard for the planet she calls home (unless she was from another planet), which translates, in my eyes, to disregard for the legacy she leaves her children or grandchildren, if she has any.

Ok, maybe you are thinking that I am making a huge deal out of a woman who happened to flick a cigarette at a parking lot.  However, the way I see it – “every action affects you or someone else, either in a positive or a negative way.”  I wish I had the power to follow that cigarette’s journey throughout the many years to see the impact that simple action had.  I can think of many scenarios –  the breeze rolls it over to the gas section just as a person is retrieving the gas nozzle from their car and a drop of gasoline falls to the floor.  Or maybe, a cute little bird or pigeon carries it to its nest underneath the roof of a home nearby.  I can think of many more scenarios, but it was just a cigarette butt, right?

The drama, oh, the drama …

2 thoughts on “Complete Disregard is Learned

  1. I think about the scenarios a bit too often. It can be swept into a stream, where it caffeinates and toxifies aquatic life. It can blow into the ditch on a windy day during a drought and spark a massive wildfire….
    One time I swerved to roll over a cigarette butt to make sure it was put out after my roadly neighbor in front of me threw it out.

    Enjoyed your blog post!

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