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As a Matter of Fact, I Am Changing the World

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As we walk down the lane
Laughing, gossiping
Without a care in the world
I notice out of the corner of my eye, a grocery bag
Blowing down the street.
And it’s out of my way, but I jump down the curb
And chase it for a few frantic seconds
Before catching it in my fist, the white plastic billowing in the wind.

You give me a strange glance as I join you again,
A skeptical “What was that for?” type of look.
I give a small, satisfied smile, and continue to walk, but you ask me:
“Why do you even bother?
It’s not like picking up one piece of garbage is going to make a difference.”

And I smile again, because I know the extent to which that isn’t true.
“Doesn’t make a difference?” I say,
“Not to the animal who mistakes it as food and chokes to death?
Or to the driver who gets into a car accident when the bag blows against his windshield, obscuring his vision?
Not to the ocean, poison seeping into its depths as the plastic decomposes?
And not to the mighty oak, ashamed to fly a piece of trash like a flag?”

I will pick it up. I will always pick it up.
And you might wonder why, but to you I reply:
“As a matter of fact, I am changing the world.”

If I can save one life,
One tree,
One heart,
I will.
And that makes all the difference in the world.





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