A Professor's Unforgettable Motto
--by Norman, posted Aug 27, 2008
I was priviledged to join a college which not only created an environment for attaining professional qualification but also ensured that each and every student left the college an all-rounded individual.
Most of the colleges in my country were commercially oriented and students tended to come in, have their lectures and off they went. The lecturers in the college I attended always embraced higher ideals and many of the kids coming straight from high school would dread this college on the basis that it was strict. It was no bother to me anyway and I often looked forward to my college days.
One of the lecturers, in particular, captured my attention most, not because of his tutorial skills but by the way he would always walk and leave no dirt or paper behind him. He would always bend over and pick any piece of paper lying on the floor and throw it to the nearest dustbin. On his way to the office, he would always move the dustbins to the right position if left by the cleaners in a wrong position. Interestingly, this lecturer is now a professor and a director of some of the listed companies in the stock exchange.
Iinitially, when I watched him, I used to wonder, why bother. However, growing up with this picture in mind, I have come to embrace the same practice. Walking down the street, I often unconciously bend over to pick that piece of paper blown away by wind from the dustbin or thrown without care on the street and place it on the next litter bin. Passing through a clean street and seeing one piece of litter lying around just moves me to leave the place clean.
As I look at the stunned faces around me whenever I do this, I often remember the story of the little girl who was walking on the beach and saw turtles washed ashore by the currents struggling to get back in the water. She picked them up one-by-one and threw them back in the water. One guy walking by asked her why bother since there are so many of them. She bent down, picked one up, looked at the guy and said, "i cannot save all of them, but I can sure make a difference to this one." She then threw it back in the ocean.
So, I may not clean the whole town by picking litter but I sure can leave one pavement clean by doing so, one at a time.
Will try to follow this myself.