Littering, Dumping, and Generally Manifesting Disrespect   Leave a comment

Above:  My Certificate for Being the Athens-Clarke County Keepin’ It Clean Citizen of the Year for 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Sometimes I can (and do) offer explanations without understanding a topic.  The reason for this is the inherent irrationality of human beings.

Consider, O reader, littering and dumping.  Routinely I clean areas in and near my neighborhood.  After all, I am partially responsible for my neighborhood, by virtue of my residence.  I do not want to live in a junky neighborhood.  I also accept my responsibility as a steward of the earth–my neighborhood, in particular.  I understand that the combination of selfishness, ignorance, and apathy explains littering and dumping, especially in places where one does not live.  Yet I know of a portion of the back end of my apartment complex where residents must be the ones leaving litter in the woods.  I am not surprised when I find litter at and near my front door, which faces the street; people driving or walking by litter and the wind blows the trash here and there.  That cannot be the case in the back of the complex, however.  Perhaps children are oblivious to what they are doing.  Maybe parents are too distracted.  I do not know.  I do know, however, that there is a person whose job includes picking up that trash, and that I clean up around my apartment complex too.  I might surmise that selfishness might incline one not to litter in one’s own neighborhood, but I would be wrong in many cases.

I know what I see.  I offer explanations based on human psychology.  I do not understand, however, for the behavior I am attempting to grasp is irrational.




Posted April 21, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Life as an Episcopalian in Georgia

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