There are some things in life that I don’t understand. I try not to be a curmudgeon about these things, but remain baffled by them.

Why do perfectly healthy young college students line up at the elevator to go down two floors when class is over? Down! The elevator in Taylor Hall, where I teach, was replaced two years ago, but it’s still incredibly slow. The building is just three stories tall plus a basement, so there are only three flights of stairs from top to bottom. For people who have physical disabilities, are pushing a cart, or maybe even carrying a heavy load of books, an elevator is convenient or even necessary. For everyone else, it offers the double negative of wasting both time and a good opportunity for a little exercise. I don’t understand.

Why do people refuse to recycle, even when it’s easy and convenient? Anyone who pays attention knows that our landfills are overloaded and resources are not unending. It only takes a few extra seconds to put cans and bottles in a recycling bin, or to put paper and cardboard in separate container, but some folks blithely throw everything into a trash can. Why? Is it so they can go stand in line at the elevator more quickly?

And why do people buy nice houses in respectable neighborhoods, and then refuse to mow their lawns, trim their shrubs, or give any indication that someone lives there beyond a car in the driveway? There’s a stretch of three houses on my morning dog-walk that appear to be competing to see who can go the longest without being touched. One has deep green but uncut fescue, while another has a paler green variety and the next has an amalgam of weeds, some of them so tall that they obscure the owner’s “My lawn is not your dog’s bathroom” signs. Some dogs could get lost if they ventured into that yard. I always thought the word “lawn” implied some level of maintenance.

  1. And don’t get me started on people who casually throw their bottles, cans, and fast food detritus right out the car window and onto the side of the road. I can’t even begin to understand that. 

The good Lord gave us a beautiful world, rich with resources, and told us to take care of it.

Is that so hard to understand?

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