So many years have passed since people from around the world have come to their senses about the real situation the Earth has been facing. It has been quite a while also when they conceptualized and implemented the Earth Hour advocacy. The people’s awareness is evident nowadays. No one can deny the truth about our Earth’s health and gradual “death”.
This serious situation is not new. That is why we always think of new and better ways on how to improve our waste management. We think on how to lessen pollution at least because we cannot eradicate it. We always think, conceptualize and implement solutions that we believe to contribute to the welfare of the society. But what is really happening? What is the actuality that many people intentionally overlook?
It has always been responsibility that we are talking about every time we encounter serious issues. Why? Why is it that every time a person does a good deed, he has the limelight? I am in no position to declare a fact like most people are irresponsible in taking care of the environment. However, I am in liberty to state my opinion based on the information I am getting and I am analyzing.
Responsibility is the key. Being aware is not enough. When you see something wrong, you do something about it. If you think you are responsible for something, do not ignore. Take action. Saying these things is too easy. Doing them is a whole lot different. Why is it very difficult to teach being responsible? Why is it very difficult to instill on others dedication?
We cannot resolve issues concerning responsibility if we cannot make people responsible. You do not tell people that they should not throw trash on the street. They may follow that guideline for some time, but if they forget it, they will do it again. It’s like talking to a child. You tell your six-year-old son not to throw away food, but if he forgets it, he does it again. Responsibility is not a simple topic to teach, not just to discuss. It is a virtue that should be practiced in the entire lifetime. It needs constant reminder and monitoring. It needs utmost understanding and realization.
Irresponsibility has taken its toll too much in the history of mankind, and when we talk of the damage dealt in the environment, it is indeed an eyesore. The wildlife is at risk. The western black rhino has just become extinct this year. All rainforests in the world are already disturbed by deforestation. Floods in the cities are becoming worse every year. Our immune systems are becoming weaker because of the overall pollution. We are so busy working earning money that we forget to nurture our own planet. Little we realize that money cannot restore all these casualties. Little we realize that our survival lies greatly on the environment that we breathe in.
Talking about responsibility is a very long discussion, as it is a very broad subject with many opinions to tell. However, if we talk about discipline, which are the rules that we set ourselves for us to follow, the subject on responsibility becomes narrower. When there are rules, there are also punishments for violating them. When people hear about punishments, they will feel fear and they will feel obliged to follow those rules even though they don’t want it to do. If they cannot learn responsibility in the normal and gentle way, then they will learn it the hard way.
There is one good example of rule that I notice for a few years now. It is the “No Smoking in PUVs” policy, if that it’s actually called. I see stickers in jeepneys saying “100% SMOKE FREE”. When I first saw that, I felt unburdened because I totally hate inhaling cigarette smoke. I think it was strictly implemented for a few months. After those happy months, there they go again. Cigarette vendors are on the roads everywhere. Jeepney drivers are smoking cigarettes even if they have pregnant and children passengers. What happened to the rule? Poof! Vanished. Am I only talking about health here? No. When a cigarette stick is lit, it creates and emits over 4000 harmful chemical compounds into the air. It obviously contributes to the air pollution. How many are lighting cigarettes everyday around the world? Millions. Just think of the volume of harmful chemicals in the air from lit cigarettes not mentioning the smoke from vehicles.
This will be a very long narration about pollution if I am to continue. Pollution is already part of our daily lives. We cannot go on without pollution. Can we stop all engine-powered vehicles? No. It is an inevitable path to destruction. The advancement of technology comes with the destruction of the environment. What’s worse, it aggravates the sickness that we already inflicted to our only habitat.
Good thing that there are still people who care about the well-being of others. Some spend a lot of their time to rebuild what has been destroyed. I salute all those people who spend considerable amount of money for the restoration of the destroyed environment. These people sacrifice a lot, while others spend most of their time lying on the couch and watching TV.
What’s in it for me if I will sacrifice for the good of the environment? Cleaner air, water and food, which are essential elements in sustaining life. It is injustice if we do not take care of our very own planet. It is very irrational and unethical, but people tend to be blind or they choose to be blind to avoid the primary subject in this article, which is responsibility.
We cannot stop pollution, but our concerted efforts can at least lessen it. We need discipline. We need dedication. We need devotion. But I’m afraid it will be only a dream. Whatever happens, I will do my part, and I will do my best. Where do we get our motivation? I care for future generations, and that’s my motivation. I dream of crystal clear waters. I dream of greener lands. I dream of clearer skies for future caretakers of our planet. What’s yours?
I believe that taking care of our environment is more suitable than we protecting it. We protect it from what? From us? We do not protect something that we ourselves causing it harm. We take care of it.