Be the change you wish to see in the world.

[I made an assumption about Joanna Van Der Hoeven, who writes the blog octopusdance that she just complained about trash instead of picking it up, since she didn’t mention picking any up.  I now realize this is a big mistake, as Joanna herself explained:

Hello, I never said I was too good to pick up trash hun – I have no idea where you got that sentiment. I walk away from every sacred site with someone else’s litter – I can never ever leave it there. From glass cider bottles on the Tor, to cigarette butts and the plastic wrapping that flowers are left it – these are always taken away by me to be disposed of properly. Perhaps you should have asked me first whether I do set the example before you assume otherwise? Please talk to me before expressing words such as these on your own blog – we share a mutual love for the earth, from the passion I can see in your posts! Awen blessings. x

Thanks Joanna for correcting my mistake!  However, I still find the rest of this post to be valuable.  Enjoy.]

[A] thought occurred to me after I had thought about [people who complain about litter but don’t do anything about it] for a while:  If you’re such a “good Druid[/Pagan/Wiccan/whatever]” and trash bothers you that much, why can’t you be the better person and show the Earth Mother you care by picking it up?  Not only is picking up trash an offering in itself (you are offering your time to beautify the Land), you are also setting an example for others.

When I was in college, I took the city bus to a stop downtown, then got on another bus that went directly to campus.  Every morning, I picked up any trash that happened to be at the downtown bus stop.  I did this to show the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits that I care, but I also did this because that particular bus stop (and the street on which it was situated) was very busy at that time of day.  By picking up trash, instead of staring at it and complaining, I showed other people that it’s okay to want to make the world a more beautiful place and that one person can make a difference.

Whenever my fiance and I go camping and hike in the woods, we pick up any trash that we happen to see along the trail or at the campsite for later disposal.  Just this past Monday, which was Earth Day, I picked up trash during my walk around the neighborhood.  I went out for a walk with the primary intention of exercising, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to pick up trash along the way.  My hands were full of trash by the time I got home since I didn’t think to bring a trash bag with me.  I put the trash in our bin and washed my hands inside.

Setting an example for others is what Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi meant when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”