Since this is my first post on The Opinion, I decided to give the half a dozen people who accidentally clicked this, an idea about how I and my article operate, before saying something morally, socially, and/or politically incorrect in your humble opinion. What I write isn’t meant to just appear on the internet and disappear after a few people say something along the lines of “Good one! Keep it coming!”. It’s meant to incite people and make them angry. It’s meant to slap people across their minds and evoke responses shoved down my throat. It’s meant to bring out comments that strangulate me or at the least, make me uncomfortable. Now that I’ve gotten that off my mind, I shall proceed to write.
A particular incident happened today, and it is that which acts as stimulus for this article. I dropped a plastic wrapper on the road today, while driving around. A few minutes later when I was waiting for a traffic signal to turn green, a man came up to me, asked me to lower the windows, and gave me a plastic bag, saying “Keep this for the next time you decide to litter” before turning around and driving away.
Now, ideally, if this had had any impact on me, I’d have wallowed in shame and embarrassment and eventually cried myself to sleep. Instead, I’m here writing an article with the only emotion on my mind being fear. Fear of being featured on some click-bait article that goes “This Man Threw Plastic on the Road. What Happened Next Will Shock You!”
On a more serious note, though, this piece of writing stems as a response to such self proclaimed, pseudo-environmentalists so hell bent on garnering attention and validation for being some sort of a social superhero. Because let’s look at things practically,
First of all, I cannot bring myself to believe that a person, who drove on a petrol fuelled vehicle for about 6 kilometers just to dump plastic into my car, is conscious about polluting. The level of hypocrisy on that is beyond me. Secondly, the plastic bag he gave me did not contain my wrapper. So the world just stays as it is, except that I somehow have an extra plastic bag? Basically you thought that I was littering this town, so you littered my car? How does that work? Wouldn’t picking up and disposing of the plastic I discarded make more sense? Also, I wondered what the response would have been if I had just thrown the plastic bag out of my window and into the street as well. What, give me another plastic bag?
I am not saying it is wrong to be concerned. It is only wrong to be pseudo-concerned. It is wrong to bring the social media’s “like” thirsty mentality into any issue. This incident merely hits home the point that “Thoughts and Prayers” are useless in terms of crisis. Action is needed, but not one that is mindless. Go, invest in trash cans, start an NGO, ask people to actively stop littering, instead of driving to a conference about air pollution and stopping on the way back for a couple of smokes before going home, and posting a status message about it in your air conditioned room.