Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December spirit

Sweetwater River (before & after)
I went riding in the mountains of Jamul the other day and was passing through the Sweetwater Bikeway on my way back to town when it dawned on me that the riverbed was looking cleaner than usual... Most of the shopping carts that had made themselves at home  in the river were gone! A big thank you to whoever got down and dirty (and probably quite wet) to drag them off to a more suitable shopping carts haven!

There always are a lot of things not going 'right', and it's always tempting to get pessimistic about stuff (which is probably why doom-selling is a perpetually profitable business). But there really is no knight in shining armor who is coming to rescue us out of whatever problem we have. The guys and gals that went and cleared up the river didn't just sit at home and pray or hope that someone will rid the riverbed of all those trash. They just went out and did the dirty work themselves.
Local children volunteers picking up trash around Mt Helix Nature Theater.
And it isn't just grown ups who are doing cool things like this that benefits the whole community. The other day I ran into a bunch of kids at the summit of Mt Helix who were going around picking up trashes that some inconsiderate visitors had left behind. Despite of some sentiment that kids today aren't as responsible or proactive as previous generations, the trashes were most likely left by grown ups and were being cleaned up after by kids not old enough to even have a provisional driver's license yet.
The sign... is gone! (And the prevailing local sentiment is markedly more cyling-friendly)
A month or so ago an anti-cyclists sign posted on a private property at Four Corners (the intersection of Lyons Valley Rd and Honey Springs Rd) in Jamul became news and drew a lot of outrage... from both cyclists and drivers who don't like cyclists. But most people aren't murderous maniacs even when behind the wheel of an automobile. Thanks to the many kind, reasonable and good neighborly locals who brought up the issue at their community meeting, the sign has been removed and I can report that just about all the cars and trucks that passed me on the area's narrow roads last Saturday were a pleasure to share the pavement with.
This graffiti on the GWL keeps getting friendlier and friendlier!
Aside from the many obvious signs that things have gotten much BETTER over the years rather than the other way around (people are not only living longer and healthier, they are also freer to voice complaints and discontent without getting shipped off to Siberia or some place worse), there are also more subtle signs of that all around, if only we would focus more on them and not just on the ills of the world. The world will never be free of ills and icky stuff, and we all will still do stupid things once in a while. I just think that life would only continue to be better if every time we start to slide into the find-things-to-get-outraged-and-complain-about mode, we break the cycle early and go out to find good and useful things to do and people who do good and useful things to praise instead. At least try that for a month... It's the holidays season after all.


yvette said...

Smorgy! you are so practical and thoughtful to your neighbour with positive reactions when most of the people complain endlessly ... I can see your near future in local politics...

Anonymous said...

That's a brilliant idea, Yvette. VOTE FOR SMORGY - she gets things done!!

Smorg said...

Hiya Yvette & Eyes:
No politics for me, maties! Can do without getting voodoo dolled by the multitudes whenever I do (or don't do) something. :oP Politicians have it rough! People like to impose all sorts of nasty motives and intentions on them, when most of the times they are just trying to make the best out of not very good options.

At any rate, it's awesome when I see people come out and do good things for their neighborhoods. :) Much better than staying home and getting depressed by all sorts of icky news (the local news don't seem to like covering positive stories, except when a sport team wins something).