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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Going Green?

Not a nail polish post and probably not going to be a popular post AT ALL, but sometimes I just get fired up. Yes, I get fired up about things from time to time and sometimes they're silly things. Sometimes they're huge, Big Picture type things. Maybe this falls somewhere in the middle. Or maybe not. Maybe it IS a Big Picture kind of thing?

A friend just posted something on her Facebook wall that got me thinking. (Yeah, not always a good idea! LOL!) It may be totally made up, it may partially true or less likely, even 100% true. Don't know and that's not really the point.

Here it is: (possibly by George Stockman)

VERY LONG but definitely worth reading......Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." She was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then…? After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day. Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then. We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

And here was my knee-jerk response:

Back then, it was common sense and necessity. Now, what little "green" stuff there is just happens to be the politically correct, "in" thing. There seems to be a shortage of common sense and instead of people finding out what's what, what was, facts, details, you know, actual INFORMATION, they're used to just listening to whatever someone else tells them. Conditioning has never been easier. Or scarier. In and of itself, the "green" thing isn't scary, but what it (and this in particular) says about people certainly is. The other things people just take on blind faith certainly ARE. 

I know, it's not the most eloquent response. I am not a writer by trade. Nor am I necessarily the most politically-minded person. I do care about and pay attention to politics as much as I can stand without going off the deep end, though. And I do notice what goes on around me, for the most part. 

Sometimes I luck into a group of people who make me feel like the least intelligent person in the room, which oddly is not a feeling I dislike. I love learning and hearing new thoughts and ideas. Thankfully, I never feel too dumb to process them on my own and come to my own conclusions, though. I may not be the best or the brightest, but I certainly have no fears that I am easily manipulated. Not something I can say about a lot of people I meet.

Other times, I am convinced that the majority of people I come in contact with are just plain stupid and haven't had a thought of their own maybe ever.

When I read things like this, or watch something like Jaywalking, or most of the political pundits and talking-heads, it just crawls right up my spine and tries to explode my brain.

Okay, back to "pointless musings over a cup of coffee" and nail polish.


  1. Wow Sheila, this is a perfect post. I was talking about this with my mom not too long ago and we named many of the things that people used to do that were more "green" than people today ever even think about. I am going to e-mail this, it deserves to be read.

  2. People who pine for the 'good old days' (and I don't mean you, you're younger than I am by at least a decade) get me going the same way. Using outhouses and chamberpots wasn't 'an adventure'. The number of women and babies lost to childbirth was heartbreaking. Dying of now easily treatable diseases and 'natural causes' that came along with old age being considered something that killed you in your 50's or 60's was no picnic either. Basic sanitation and simple medical care saves so many lives that people that don't realize how magical it is to just turn a knob and get a hot bath have no concept. No, I didn't grow up in the back of beyond, but I spent a few summers there in the 60's (no electricity, no running water), and lugging every drop of water used in from a pump outside is no fun after the first trip, having to end your day when the sun goes down is a PITA, and outhouses? Well, if they've never used one they'll never get it and Porta-potties are not the same evil, no matter what some people may think. And I think you're right, many people could return their brains for refunds because they've never been used!


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