my experience today, tho, with the rural women from my town Baao, who i brought to naga city for a pilgrimage to the region's patroness, has made me suspect that i have the power to change the world and today, i saw tangible evidence of it.
back then i could only bemoan and lament over the stupidity, or to put it more lightly, the ignorance of those that do the act. somehow, over time, i made a pact with the self, to effect change by being an example of how one should deal with the trash issue after an event at the church. i would shamelessly call the attention of the person near me, young or old, stranger or not, who i see improperly throw trash, to pick it up again and put it in their pockets and bring it back home with them. i know i have become an irritant to many. but i couldn't care less. i was more concerned about my environment than their opinions of me. some people would just even ignore me. my well-meaning friends would tell me, i could not do anything about it. but i absolutely disagree with them. i know i could do something about it, and i would.
for a while, it seemed futile, the last time i was in church for an event, there was still the pile of trash left by the church-going citizens. of course the pile does not stay there for long, as a janitor would clean up the church yard afterwards. but i pursued with my dogged determination and continued to tell people who i see improperly throw trash, to pick it up again and put it in their pockets and bring it back home with them. a little thing, but one that made me extraordinarily happy every time i did it and every time a piece of trash is picked up by the thrower.
so when i brought my RIC women to naga city, i was a bit afraid that i might have to tell one or a few of them, to pick up trash when i see them improperly throw it, especially when one of the women offered us candies inside the jeepney we were riding. but i was pleasantly surprised when i observed my seatmate(i couldn't even remember her name, but i know she is from Lourdes, a mountain barangay here in baao), after she took the candy, she put the candy wrapper inside her purse. how i wanted to hug her and tell her how her simple act had made me so happy. But i had to hold back, and smiled, and gloated secretly.
maybe i'm really not the one that started that, and it doesn't matter. the fact is, that i have been trying to see change in that one thing, and i saw that today.
every person, every small act of kindness towards nature. every small act of mindfulness towards our environment. every time one little "good" thing happens, . . it increases the love and hope in the world, and changes the world.