Friday, April 23, 2010

Litter

I was walking in downtown Chicago. There are these little plots of grass that help soften the cement world that is the city. In one of these plots there were tiny sprouting bits of grass seed - trying valiently to make their spring appearance. On top of the seeds were crumpled pieces of paper, an empty water bottle, a discarded cigarette.

A man was working with a pointed stick - clearing the litter off of the struggling grass. There was a trash can just four feet away. Why do people throw litter on this little bit of growing grass when they could so easily discard it in the right place? Don't they know that they will kill it?

I was thankful for the litter clean-up man.

Because I have kids and media on my mind, I couldn't help but compare. Aren't our kids a little like those struggling grass seeds? They are trying to grow and flourish, trying to establish who they are and what they will become.

The media can bring messages that are good and challenging and nourishing, but it can also bring trash. It can weigh them down needlessly with too much information, with really bad examples, with pressures to be people they aren't ready to be. Some try to make our kids grow up too fast or learn too much, too quickly.

I guess it is my job to be help sort out the bad stuff. My daughter might not realize that the latest hottest movie or web-site might hurt her. I know parents can't prevent it altogether - but it's our job to watch.

We are the clean-up people...
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