To Pick Up or Not To Pick Up…

paperthat is the question that I argued within myself this very morning, standing in line at the Starbuck’s counter in the Von’s store.  On the floor in front of me was a crumpled receipt and there began the argument between my two brains.

I wrote a blog recently called the The Battle of the Brains in which I described the conflict of my left and right hemispheres. This is a very similar battle that wages in my skull, but it’s more of an emotional fight that isn’t quite as half and half. This debate comes from an ongoing question of what’s right and what’s wrong, when to be responsible and when to teach a lesson, and how many synonyms can I come up with for ‘battle’ in one paragraph.

So here’s how the conversation in my head starts:

<looks down at paper>

“wh-wh-wha-what’s this? Who dropped this? Why couldn’t they pick it up?”* That’s the angry man side. Then the side of me that is always trying to find the good in people, tries to find that possibility. “Maybe a mom gave a baby the receipt and the baby crumpled up the paper and then dropped it. That’s what kids do.”* Now that argument is usually ruled out, because a) it’s pretty lame, and really it’s only good for kids under about 3 that can be excused for not picking up after themselves b) if it wasn’t a baby in its mother’s arms, what are the chances that she saw it and could have picked it up? Or dad, no sexism here.

And so it goes. The race is on while question after question races around in my head. Why do people think it’s ok to just throw stuff on the floor? Why hasn’t someone else picked this up? Why should I pick it up? Why shouldn’t I? Why are we so lazy? Isn’t it this very laziness that causes global warming? Wouldn’t a cleaner environment lead to cleaner heads and cleaner hearts? Doesn’t this sense of ‘I’m better than everyone else so who cares where I throw my stuff’ contribute to the continuation of war?

And that’s just four minutes of my day.

And I did pick it up.


*These are not said out loud.


2 thoughts on “To Pick Up or Not To Pick Up…

  1. As a Mom/ Teacher, I’m tired of picking up after others…I love your post!!

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