Have you come across someone who amazed you with a selfless action that took your breath away ?
I met one such person yesterday and needless to say, I was touched by her actions. She is a 3 year old girl named Elizabeth, who I meet every morning, when I drop my son off at school. She accompanies her mom, Michelle, and her little brother, to drop off her older brother at school. She, like her mom, is always charming, polite and wears a smile. Always says a hello to everyone. But what she and her mother did yesterday touched my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you.
What did she do so amazing you might be wondering. She and her mother had a small plastic bag and they were collecting trash from the school grounds and the pavement all along the way from school to her house. I was curious as to why she was doing this and upon query Michelle said – “We are tired of seeing all this trash on the pavement and in the school. I was thinking that at least near the school people would be more conscious of littering. But since that is not the case, Elizabeth and I decided we would pick up the trash as much as we could”. Isn’t that just a tremendous act of good citizenship?
She could have just as well turned her nose and walked home. Instead, here she was with a small child, showing her toddler what responsibility meant. She was setting an example for her daughter showing the community spirit in her own way. Just before you think it is just a singular act of “doing good” think – “How many of us would carry a trash bag around and pick the trash from our neighborhood – when it is not even a give-back-to-the-community event ?
I walk the same path everyday, but I have become immune to the bits of candy wrappers, the spent coffee cups, the soda cans and other small trash that litter the line the path. I do not throw my trash on the road and I encourage my children to hold their trash till we get home. I pick up the stray twig or branch that maybe obstructing the pavement. But it never occurred to me to pick up someone else’s trash from the road. Yet here was a mother, who was showing her 3 year old daughter that it is not about what you do not do but what you do that counts.
Today when I ran into Elizabeth, she had a magic wand which she had brought to “help her make the trash disappear”.
Dear Elizabeth, I wish your magic wand will help everyone realize what your mother is teaching you and help them correct their actions. You will grow up to be one fine young lady.
I salute you Michelle and Elizabeth, for showing me what a good citizen means. Maybe tomorrow I will follow your example and pick some trash on my way home.