Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hey Congressman Addabbo, How About Cleaning Up Your Bridge?

Walking South towards the Addabbo Bridge
Usually on Thursdays, since it's my day off, I get to take care of my two kids and one of the things I enjoy is to take a walk with my 6 month old daughter through the neighborhood I grew up in and love, Howard Beach. Like any other neighborhood, Howard Beach has its bright side to it as well as its dark side. This particular morning I decided to take another route towards the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge going towards the Rockaways. I haven't been down this route in awhile but the first thing I noticed was the illegal garbage dumping all throughout the sidewalk path. And if that wasn't enough, as I approached the bridge, looking West towards the Jamaica Bay, by the beach underneath the bridge was  even more washed up garbage and the scavenger seagulls having a feast with the trash. It reminded me of a scenery I am familiar with whenever I travel to South America and beyond the "cleanliness" of the richer neighborhoods, are the filthy, mountains of garbage in the "slums" or outskirts of the heavily populated cities.

The beach underneath the Addabbo Bridge
Here's a sign of our times where we accumulate more than what we need and it is quite disheartening to see in the neighborhood I was raised in and the place where I choose to raise my children that such disregard for the Land, the very soil in which our houses are built upon, where what we call our Homes, are garbage dump mountains in the making. What went wrong? Does everyone else in Howard Beach aware of this? Does anyone in Howard Beach care?

They should care. We all should care.

Excess garbage breeds excess parasites/scavengers which breeds disease which infiltrates our soils and water supply. Of course, on the micro-scale of things many would reply, "what's the big deal?", considering the city has sewage treatment centers and our water is filtered and treated with fluoride and other chemical treatments to sterilize the water. True, but only a partial truth. What do you think will happen if no one does anything about the accumulating garbage on the beach and surrounding areas by the bridge??? Ever watch the Pixar movie Wall-E where we Humans in the Future have to leave the Earth and live in spaceships because we fucked up our planet and made it into a planetary dumping ground?

Walking North away from the Addabbo Bridge. Someone felt the need to dump an old couch on the sidewalk.
What's really going on? I don't have the answer to that but we can all agree it's about Responsibility. In this case, not taking Responsibility for our actions. Those who choose to dump their garbage wherever they want are disrespecting others who also share the land with them. In fact, no one truly owns Land. That is an illusion. You may be able to "buy" property, but did you Create it? The Truth of the matter is that we are merely Stewards of this Land and as Stewards, it is our Responsibility to take care of it. We may satisfy our egos to think that we own land because we paid money for it but that doesn't necessarily mean we "own" it. It's like the way the Native American Indians, before the Conquistadors "conquered", or "bought", them believed the Land in which they lived was a gift and it was their Responsibility to take care of it in an interdependent relationship. They believed that if you kill the land, you kill your people. And isn't that what's going on with illegal garbage dumping and the neglect to clean it up? Maybe many people are too distracted from their own little "big" worries of Life to even care about this but I think Awareness is a great initial step to effect change. Quite possibly, if more people were aware of the effect of their actions, maybe they wouldn't be so irresponsible and disrespectful towards others and thus themselves.

And finally, what if someone dumped their junk all over your place. How would you feel? The "it's not my problem" attitude is getting a bit thin since some of the shit is hitting the fan much closer to Home....Meditate on that.

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