It’s happened to you as often as it’s happened to me. You’re out and about enjoying your day, and then, a grumbling of the bowels. You scan the area and your memory looking for that welcoming sign with little stick figures and the accompanying eight letters R-E-S-T-R-O-O-M. There, in the distance. BINGO! You rush toward it, trying to look as smooth as possible with a fast-and-casual, New-Yorker’s pace. You enter, slightly relieved to find the place deserted. Door number one: disgusting; it looks like someone just shared in your present grief and failed to send it to the waste water treatment plant. Door number two: piss on the seat. Door number three: no toilet paper. Back to door number two.
I’m not sure why but it seems we’ve lost the ability to mind and respect our surroundings, especially in public. It’s apparent in any restroom. The stalls are disgusting with un-flushed business, toilet paper strewn about, and piss on the seat. The locks are broken off the doors. The sinks are clogged with paper towels like the Wet Bandits struck again. Not to mention, it looks like you can get some sexual favors by calling the number(s) written on the wall.
I’m fairly certain your bathroom at home is clean and orderly. You pick up the toilet paper you dropped on the ground. You wipe up the counter where you splashed a gallon of water while washing your hands. You lift or clean the toilet’s seat. You flush the toilet. You don’t doodle or write your friend’s phone number on the wall.
So, where’s the disconnect? Why is it okay to treat public surroundings any differently than you would your personal surroundings?
It boils down to respect and mindfulness. We no longer respect other people’s property. Besides, someone gets paid to clean this up, right?
I implore you to mind your surroundings at all times. Clean up after yourself. Respect other people’s property. Pick up the toilet paper, paper towel, or napkin you just dropped. Lift the seat or wipe it off. Clean up the ketchup you squirted onto the table. It’s not hard. Respect for the small things in life builds into a respect for the larger things.