I’ve heard from people many times that you should think before you act. I’ve also heard that every decision you make reflects who you are. I’ve never dwelt on these facts until now.
On September 27th, 2019, my marine biology class and I went to an island called Gehh in the Marshall Islands. Our goal that day was to collect trash that had washed up on shore during high-tide. We collected trash for an hour and a half and only covered 50 meters of the island, and it still looked like we didn’t make a dent.
While collecting, I started to wonder where these objects came from. We found flip flops, a shopping cart, cans, bottles, diapers, toys, lighters, toothbrushes, light bulbs, toilet parts, umbrella handles, and flashlights etc. The list is long. I felt guilty because I knew that I am one of many people on Earth that just chucks his/her trash without thinking twice about where it might end up. I have not thought about how each trash might end up inside a living thing’s stomach, around its body trapping it or its neck, on a beach shore, or even among the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
How many people can stand up and say that you have never thrown one piece of trash on the ground before? Not even accidentally. I can guarantee you that many can’t, including me. My next question is how many of you thought about where your trash might end up when you threw it? That’s just it though, you didn’t think. You were just trying to get rid of your trash. So next time you throw trash, think twice. That applies to everything, think before you act.
Lastly, remember how I said that every decision you make reflects the evaluation of who you are? Well, what does that make us if we discard trash? I’ll let you be the judge of that question.