There were two white trash bags along the side of Cooper Road that must have fallen out of trash truck (which is kind of a scary thought). But what is even more alarming or frightening is that no one bothered to pick them up. What does this say about our culture and our character?

When I saw them I decided that I would pick them up and dispose them properly. I had no idea what was in the bags or how messy or dirty they were so I wanted to bring my own trash bag to put them in before placing them in my clean trunk.

However, I kept forgetting to grab some trash bags. After four or five days, I finally remembered to grab some trash bags and picked them up.

I wondered how many people had the same intentions as I did? Or how many people just drove by and didn’t even notice them or didn’t even have the slightest notion to pick them up because it wasn’t their trash OR their responsibility?

I had four children with me in the car on the way to school and I wanted to make a statement to them and also pick up the trash!

Everyday we’d drive by I’d ask them, “How many of you think the trash bags are still there?” They all were in agreement that they would still be there.

I told them, “Today, I’m going to pick up these bags AND make a statement. This is NOT my trash or my responsibility but I’m going to do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do to make this world a better and cleaner place. And apparently, if I don’t do it no one else is going to take the initiative to do it either.

How many times do your parents ask you to do something and you feel it isn’t your job or that you didn’t make the mess?

Many times in your adult life you will be required or asked to do a job that isn’t ‘yours’. It’s a great quality that employers look for today but rarely find. Responsibility is taking initiative and doing the right thing before you are asked to do it.

Are you responsible? Do you have integrity? The character of integrity is who you are and what you do when no one is watching.

If you are critical of other people, are you keeping ‘your own back yard’ clean? What if we all worked to be responsible, honest and keep our own back yards clean? Today, go home after school and clean your room without being asked. And the next time you get asked to do something that isn’t your ‘job’, choose to do it with a grateful attitude. Just because you’re choosing to be responsible and make this world a brighter place. Oh and don’t forget to take out the trash!”

Laura Rhoades