The debate on who is responsible dates long back in the history of mankind. Citizen blames the organisation, organisation blames the management, management blames the funding…and the ball keeps bouncing from one court to another. And who suffers? The provider. It all starts with you. Be the change and inspire the world. Get up and take a stand, as a human, and as a responsible citizen.
As we grow up we often question ourselves, when do we become responsible. Is it the age of 18 when we can vote? Or at the age of 25 when we can ‘legally’ drink? The advent of responsibility begins when one realises the impact of their act. When children realise that their mother is thirsty, they bring her a glass of water. This act is not just cute or adorable; it’s also their first brush with responsibility. If we were to draw this picture on a global canvas, we will reach to the conclusion that human beings are perhaps an ignorant toddler who refuses to grow up; much like a spoilt brat who is placed unreasonably at the top of the food chain. I mean look around the mess we create! We litter the world on cosmological level. Now that’s a new high, or perhaps a new low.
We are in a desperate need to up our responsibility game. So, let’s begin from the beginning.
Together with Toddlers
A famous health drink brand says that a child’s mind is highly stimulated and cognizant during the timeline of one to five years. If in that time period, a child is not trained to find the nearest dustbin to throw candy wrappers, but instead is led by an example of randomly littering the city by his elders, chances are that he will continue to do the same when he grows up. I remember a lesson my class teacher taught us in 2nd grade. We were gearing up for a class picnic, all excited and before leaving she advised us that we have to dump all our garbage into the dustbins nearby, and if in case we spot someone littering the park, we should pick up the trash in front of that person and throw it in the nearest trash can. The shame that person will experience will stay with him for a long time. I don’t know if the shame stayed, but the lesson certainly did. And this inculcation is not restricted to good habits, but good morals too. Through stories, plays and acts, one can indeed raise a morally and socially responsible citizen.
Recycle during Lifecycle
Human beings are the perfect embodiment of irony. Some of the most famous topics for school essays and articles are ‘Pollution’, ‘Waste Management’, ‘Environment and concerns’, etc. We write, we get marks and then the paper is tossed away. We organise marathons, protest marches and other such activities for the environmental cause. People get thirsty, they drink water in a plastic or a Styrofoam cup that is dumped on the site of gathering, along with the placards and banners and boards, with ‘Save the Environment’ written on it. And this happens almost every time, everywhere. One needs to wake up to this. Recently, a very famous rock band Coldplay performed at the Global Citizen Festival on the MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai. The aim of the festival was to promote sustainable development and they took the first step towards it right after the event. They collaborated with Swachhalay, an NGO and spent the day after clearing the grounds off the waste generated by 80,000 spectators of the show. This is exactly what needs to be done, and on a larger scale, and more frequently! If each one of us becomes responsible for our planet on an individual level, then a citizen becomes responsible on a societal level and the community becomes responsible on a global level.
Not the Universe, please.
I was not kidding you when I said that we are littering on a cosmological level. There is a term – orbital debris – that is used for man-made waste generated in space during expeditions. This includes discarded satellites (yes, that’s a thing!), paint flakes, fuels, excrement from space stations, etc. Yes folks, we have started polluting the universe! While researching for this article, a rather strange headline, or was that a suggestion, caught my attention. It read, and I quote, ‘Why Can’t We Launch Garbage into Space?’ As horrified as I was, I clicked on the link in hopes of finding this just as a clickbait. And to my relief it was, but the reasons stated to as to why we cannot, were equally morbid. It said because, ‘it is really expensive to launch a rocket for garbage, going by the amount of garbage we create’. Really guys? And it has nothing to do with letting things be the way they are? To not tarnish our creation on a universal level? To not leave our murky, dirty footprint all over the expanse of our reach? We got one planet and we screwed it up, so let’s just stick our crap to it only.