Haiku #50

Here lies cigarettes
and bottle caps in dirt lot
with stories untold

cigarette
OhEngine/Shutterstock.com

This Saturday, I participated in the Hayward City Clean Up volunteer day and was assigned a certain street to pick up trash.  It was a rewarding experience to contribute to improving the city.  I was surprised to see so many cigarette butts littered on sections of the street (especially near certain apartment complexes).  At the corner of an empty dirt lot, we found a lot of cigarette butts and bottle caps.  While I am not supportive of smoking, drinking or littering, I do wonder who these people are.  Why do they smoke and why do they drink?  Is it for fun, to relieve stress or to drown out their sorrows?  Did they drink and smoke alone, or in a group?  What is their life story?  Cleaning up trash is a reactive approach to beautifying the city.  Over time, it may provide a healthier neighborhood.  However, what is the root cause of the problem?  What can we do to be more proactive to prevent this type of litter from happening in the first place?  Everyone’s story is worth hearing.

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