As of my first blog I will be talking about a very dirty subject. A subject that you might think you don't do enough of. An activity that has people on their hands and knees. Cleaning up the environment. What were you thinking of? Last weekend I was participating in drill with my unit (29th Infantry Division, C co) and I was asked about a volunteer opportunity and was told it was going to be a large benefit to the local community so I made sure I was on that detail. Why else would you enlist in the military if not to help make the world a better place and serve your country. The exact name of the detail is, "Guard the Environment" which was temporarily reinstated for Maryland and what it essentially is, is the soldiers of their respective states will go out to either downtrodden cities and towns or they will send you to local bodies of water to clean up any dumping that might have occurred. My unit was assigned to the Chesapeake Bay with the 58th HHC. Together we skirted the area and picked up any trash, fished out any foreign contaminates in the water as well as performing Ph tests on the water to observe the improvements over time. As I was cleaning the shore line I came across many long lost items such as a pair of children's shoes knotted together at the laces, a bumper sticker supporting the first election of President Obama and other trashed items such as empty bottles to pieces of plastic wrap. While I was picking up the trash I couldn't help but think why would people want to just throw their trash into the bay? The water is already a nasty brownish hue and it just looks nasty in general. I kept trying to rationalize it somehow, that maybe the person just figured that the water was already so dirty that one piece of trash wouldn't matter in the scope of things. I thought that was the most obvious answer and history has always told us that the simplest answer is often the right one.
Thinking that just because everyone has already contaminated the bay before doesn't give anyone the right to think that it is okay to keep on with that example. This is a very broken way of thinking because if one person were to stop and say, "I will not deposit my trash in the water today, I will dispose of it in the designated containers." that would be a substantial help to the environment because if people don't see somebody else dumping in the bay, then they themselves will follow that example because it has been implanted in there mind that it is not alright to throw things in the bay. It's very similar to the commercial where each person sees someone else helping out another person and it motivates them to do the same to another stranger. I am not able to recall what company that advertisement was created for but I think that it is a fair example for the way we should be living our lives... Supporting each other despite of creed, race, or place of origin because we are all human and we should live as one united body. Helping each other and taking care of each other for the simple fact that we are all human and we are all important.
That day alone made me realize that aside from the Army, Loyola is the only other place that comes close to living in such a way and I believe that it is because of the Jesuit values that the university instills in us. It is a creed very close to the one the Army instills in it's soldiers. I believe that while the Jesuit tradition is what unites us as a group, that any creed in general that people can agree to live under, whether it be religion or just a common thought of what is right and should be expected of human kind will unite us as a single being.
Nothing can stop wars and the evil that may come before or with it, but at the very least there can be an understanding. Maybe a similar understanding as dance and music are around the world; a common thread which can unite us as a world and as a people. I think only then can we find peace... Not the end of wars, but peace within ourselves, that we know we are making the world a better place because we might have given that unknown man or woman a spark to lighten their day just from the kindness of our hearts. Maybe the way that intro and rhetorical question at the beginning of this post brought a slight smile to your face. If not, at least I tried.