The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were  recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.  In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.  When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up  newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their Moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then!

Whatever Happened To The 3 C’s

I was wondering the other day whatever happened to common courtesy, making a commitment to something or someone and actually following through and  just plain old fashioned common sense.

Remember when we were  courteous to one another and didn’t curse, yell, and make spectacles of ourselves in grocery stores, movie theatres, baseball games, you name the place and I can come up with an incident. Now how sad is that. I can actually remember when we were courteous to one another, we said thank you, please,  and excuse me. Nowadays we get pushed, shoved, cursed at and given fingers and other parts of the anatomy. Is it any wonder why I don’t like going out of the house except when I really have to, which luckily isn’t very often. We both worked retail for years, in addition to operating  a business for the past 22 years, so we have always gone with the adage that “the customer is always right”. As far as I can tell, seems like we are part of a lost race of people. I find that a very sad commentary as to what has become of our society today.

As for common sense, the lack of any today boggles my mind. Doesn’t anyone think for themselves anymore. Apparently not and that in and of itself is a whole other article. I am continually amazed by the things that people do and think is perfectly alright to do. From airing their dirty laundry on national TV, raising their children, to buying things they can’t afford, to eating things they know aren’t good for them, and just plain leaping without looking. The worst part is that when it all goes wrong, it’s never their fault but always someone else’s. What did they think would happen when they ate super sized breakfasts, mega burgers every day for lunch, dinner and stuffed their faces with desserts, yup you are going to gain weight. Or if spend all your money on things you don’t need, you aren’t going to have money for necessities. Or, if you let your children run wild and don’t  employ any discipline, don’t you think you are going to have a problem child. When did people abdicate their common sense. Unfortunately this lack of common sense crosses all ages today, those who should know better are even doing it. Again, I feel like I am off by myself since I actually contemplate and think before I do something. Very scary to me when someone asks me “Why are you thinking about it, just do it?” Nope, sorry I will continue to use my noggin and some good ole common sense reasoning before leaping, thank you very much.

As for making and keeping a commitment, that is another kettle of fish. We know about this one first hand as coaches and consultants. Everyone wants a “quick fix” without any “work” or “commitment”. The proverbial lament of “you mean I have to work at it”. Yes, yes, you do. You need to commit to the  plan that either you made for yourself or someone did for you and actually follow through. This is particularly bad for those trying to lose weight, quit smoking, change their finances, and those in problem relationships and marriages. I know some of these are hard commitments, particularly weight loss, smoking and finances. Lots of outside factors there; as there are in many marriages and relationships. However, the fact still remains you need to stick to (commit) to a plan. Will there be bumps in the road, sure there will be, but you need to jump over them and keep on going and not bail at the first sign of trouble. Remember those wedding vows, ladies and gentlemen, “for better or for worse” which means in good times and bad” not just the good times. I have no problem with people who try, falter and try again, it is those that give up at the first little sign of trouble that get to me. Having been a smoker and having had weight issues I know firsthand what it takes, so I am not just blowing off steam here. As for marriage, my husband and I will be celebrating 37 years together this year and remember we worked with each other every day and am now retired and with each other 24/7.

So, after reading this and shaking your head, be sure to use some common sense before you leap to your next decision and try a little courtesy, it goes a long way.