It defies logical thinking. The triviality of throwing a single piece of trash on the ground will never be in the same equivalent as the collective sense of profound religiosity; where one pushes through a crowd and dances in trance-like celebration, just for a nationally-beloved icon.
The multiplied garbage by thousands stand as a testament, and this might as well be on the minds of those who are tasked to clean up after such gatherings. Be it after a feast, a concert, a group sortie at the beach, or a political gathering, the familiar sight of litter is always the unwelcome aftermath.
Tell that to Japanese nationals Takeshi Konishi and Kazuhito Hotomi, who understood that, because of the multitude that came to attend the recently-concluded Sinulog-Santo Nino festival in Cebu, there was surely going to be a huge amount of trash in the streets. So, in true Japanese custom, they helped clean up, because in their own words, “… who will?” The popular social media expression, “Sana all” might perhaps mirror as the appropriate response, but then, it would surely evoke the sarcastic reply, “really?”
Twitter had never been so busy.
Seriously, it really begs the question, is littering a racial and cultural thing, as Teddy Boy puts it? Some might even add, a national pastime? In several cities, the massive clean-up drives initiated by their local governments had not at all totally been successful, except perhaps at the onset. In many cases, reverting back to the old practice proved to be only a matter of time, save for areas where anti-littering ordinances had strictly been reinforced with stricter fines. However, these are few and far between.
In theory, if any introduced practice, backed by political action (and will) becomes accepted norms by the majority, it might have a chance to eventually seep down into culture. It’s been proven in other countries. Sadly in this case, it seems that no amount of political action and propaganda on the larger scale, can tackle the pervading consciousness that it is okay to throw trash. I mean, I’d throw my ciggie butt anywhere if nobody was looking. So there.
If no one were looking, if everyone were doing it at the same time, in a rally, in a religious activity, in the darkened cinema or concert halls, a gazillion of “if”. The culture to beat then is the one of “who cares”? Generally, if we could only inject mindfulness straight into the cultural veins of everyone, then 11th commandment that says Thou shall not get caught, will not ever be invoked.
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