Horizon at Sandy Point

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why bother?

Today, I took a garbage bag with me on my morning walk. I intended to pick up the glass and plastics and bits and pieces that the stray dogs have ripped from garbage bags, or thoughtless persons left lying against a park bench. But I thought, why bother? The lawn maintenance people cut the park at least once a week, and seem to have no problem passing their weed whackers right over, allowing the bottles to sink into the soil, and crushing the plastics. These bits and pieces seem to disturb no one else, so why me?

Why try to recycle when the world seems content to throw everything away, on the beaches, outside car windows, in rivers, down a drain; just toss it into the canal or in the bushes and walk away. Where do you think "away" is? It's in the Caroni Swamp, down the islands, somewhere near Grenada, somewhere we hardly go, or see, so why bother?

Why pay more for food that's healthier when the fast stuff is cheap and you can eat instantly, no waiting? And there are certainly enough stray dogs to lick up the leftovers, so leave it by the side of the road nuh!

Why plant trees and clear your drains when the hills are already a concrete jungle, a cascade of roofs and house-proud tidy squares of lawn or paved driveways?

Why try to warn others of the effects of nicotine and alcohol when rum and beer and wine, and cigarettes are clearly there to be bought and indulged. So your arteries clog up, and your ulcers explode, why should anyone else care? You going and dead anyway. Maybe the faster the better. It's the lingering illness that makes everyone suffer.

People don't appreciate being told what to do, or how to do, or when to do, even when what they are doing hurts them. Most don't wish to be told what to do to make life better, and improve the lot of even a household, a neighbourhood, or a nation.

Why bother writing ten lines in a blog that no one reads.

Maybe I bother because I have been conditioned to conform, to have a conscience, to feel guilt. Otherwise, why should any of it matter to me? I'll soon be gone. In a few years more, I'll need less, take up less space and eventually disappear, for the good of all. There is a price for every iota of individual consumption. But having developed our capacities as individuals, I wonder how long will it take for a species to realise that the good of "all" is the only guarantee of good for the individual. And that's why we need to bother.

1 comment:

  1. Is the writer having an existentialist conversation with herself?
    In itself, it ain't a bad thing...

    Sort of thing that doesn't happen when you are dead ( or brain dead)