The Irony of Canned Water

I ran across this on my way to work. Ahhh… the irony. That someone would buy canned water (assumedly because cans are easier to recycle) and then that a can ends up in neither a recycling bin nor a trash can, but lying on a pedestrian bridge.

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Two responses instantly come to mind.

A: This person is such an idiot. They probably swagger about, proud that they aren’t messing up the planet with plastic, while leaving their rubbish lying on the ground wherever they go. They probably call themselves green, and buy ineffective carbon offsets to make themselves feel even better. Maybe they even drive a hybrid, and smirk at all the other drivers with their gas-guzzling monster machines. Ugh, I hate him already and I haven’t even met him.

B: He bought canned water. True, the can ended up on the ground, but it’s still better for the environment than bottled water. His heart seems to be in the right place, even if his practices are iffy. But maybe it wasn’t even him that left it there! Maybe a friend of his who doesn’t care about the environment grabbed one of his cans of water, and then dumped it when he was done.

It’s so easy to assume the worst about someone. And environmentalism is such a touchy subject that passions can be aroused easily. I don’t want to go around slamming people for their less-then-perfect habits. That’s not the kind of person that I want to be.

But I also don’t want people to walk over me. I’ve heard the phrase “gentle warrior” used, and it seems like a standard to be lived up to. Jesus was gentle, he didn’t offend people for the sake of offending them, but he never backed down from a fight when right was at stake. That’s who I want to emulate. Even if it means giving the benefit of the doubt to someone who litters perfectly recyclable cans. Grrr…

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