Sunday, January 15, 2006

When You Depart This World, Leave It Cleaner Than You Found It.

When you depart this world, leave it cleaner than you found it. This concept is a lesson I presented to high school classes in which I subbed in Life Management Skills. After executing the regular teacher's lesson plan, I used some of the remaining time with the students to express this concept. I explained it to them this way: Suppose you and your family go to a park on a picnic. You take a picnic basket of fried chicken, chips, sodas, paper products and plastic utensils. You also take a watermelon or cantaloupe. You have great family fun. You eat, throw Frisbee and enjoy the time together. As you get ready to leave, you clean up all the trash and properly dispose into trash cans the paper and plastic products as well as the watermelon rinds. You leave the space clean. As you walk to your car, you notice a soda can or plastic bag along the trail. You did not bring that material into the park or place it there, but you reach down and pick it up and deposit it in a trash can. If you do this, then it can be said that you left that park cleaner than you found it. Now apply that same conduct in all aspects of living your life. Start here in this classroom and around the school campus. Do this in your room at home and around your house. If you go through life maintaining control of all materials and properly disposing of waste products YOU create and then clean some trash of others along the way, then it can be said that you left this world cleaner than you found it. If you practice this concept, it will make you feel good inside and it will influence others to embrace this notion. When each of us practice this discipline, then our environment and living space will get cleaner.

The classes' general response was Yeah, Okay, Whatever.

Some responded with "disease"! I'm not touching that trash and used condoms.
I admit, I had not thought about that type of trash.

This lesson and discussion took about eight minutes to express and react to their comments.

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