I did something a bit, well, strange today. And you know what? I felt pretty bad about it. I immediately wanted to scream apologies from my window and do something to keep my karma clean. It’s not that I felt bad about what I did, but I felt bad for thinking it was so.very.strange. Because in all honesty, it was pretty gosh.darn.awesome.
Some people count sheep when they can’t sleep, but I use the spare 30 minutes or so to watch TED talks. The talks inspire and motivate and inform, and, before I know it, I’m drifting off to sleep with new insights and ideas and conversation starters.
I couldn’t sleep the other night, and so I watched Robin Nagle’s talk about trash. Not just trash, but the 11,000 tons of trash that New York City produces each and every single day.
Nagle points out that sanitation workers toil to keep the city clean, safe, and beautiful, but that they hardly receive a word of thanks for their efforts. On the contrary, people tend to attach a negative stigma to the people that risk their own health to clean up after us messy folk.
I thought about the random acts I’ve done for police officers and mailmen and other types of public officials, and realized I was guilty of the exact bias Nagle was describing – I’d honestly just never thought that much about my trash (I recycle, but I’m not wondering who is picking it up and where it’s going and all that jazz).
Being that it’s Random Acts of Kindness week, I thought I’d use the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the sanitation workers that work (often without recognition) to make our neighborhoods such nice places to live.