Last night when taking out the trash, there was an abandoned waste basket in the refuse room on the sixth floor of my apartment building. It reminded me of a lesson that I learned when I was very young. I was a riding in a car with my big sister’s boyfriend, a star football player on the high school team. As he parked his car on the street, he saw someone throw a soda cup out the window onto the street. I remember him walking over to the person, and calmly explaining that it was unacceptable to litter in our small town, that the cup needed to be picked up and thrown in a trash receptacle. When he got back into the car, he explained to me that littering was something people did who didn’t care, and just assumed someone else would clean up after them. And he told me not to grow up to be one of those people.
I know the person that left the abandoned waste basket in the refuse room last night might have thought,” someone else will dispose of it”, “it’s a hassle to bring it down to the parking garage”, “there’s someone else whose job it is to clean up things left abandoned in the wrong place.” “Someone else….”
“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.” ~ Stanley Milgram