Litter is Tacky

A German Home Showing Craftsmanship Pride

I suppose we are the way we are because of many factors, but I think I can name a few:

· Our impatient culture ” we want everything quickly, from fast food to short wars.

· Our desire for low prices – we want Wal-Mart Prices and quality we can afford. We won’t pay for craftsmanship if it costs us more than a manufactured product.

· Our uprooted nature ârather than live in towns for generation after generation, our jobs move us from place to place. So, we have no sense of an enduring legacy or attachment to the land. The land is a place we speed by while we are going somewhere else. It is an obstacle to us. Our disjointed families live elsewhere. We travel on roads that mean nothing to us, and many are littered with billboards and neon, and disposing trash on the berm is convenient.

· Our consumer culture – from product packaging to commercials incentives on television, everything is to meant be used and consumed and not to last. The impermanence of things and the plastic packaging that comes with it all teaches us to continually discard.

Yet it is sad to see everything from cigarettes to diapers to soda cans tossed onto the streets of towns and highways. Where is that sense that the neighborhood belongs to us all, and it takes all of us to keep it clean and nice for others?

When we traveled in Germany, I took this photo. What struck us was that in every town we visited, the streets were spotless and clean. Their corporate pride in the public square was evident. This culture was no “throw away” culture of the fast and the careless. It was a culture sensitive to the need to respect the environment, and not in a political way, but in the sense of common courtesy for others. Would that we would not be such a throw-away culture ourselves!