Day 245: What a passion can become

In the midst of our middle-south heat, our company chose to spend today cleaning up the river. I’ve not participated for the past couple of years because I don’t do very well in the heat, but this year, I decided to join in.

It’s an awesome project, and it’s amazing to see all the trash that ends up in the river. Sometimes it ends up there because of flooding, but sometimes the trash ends up there because people are careless, or worse, deliberate. It’s that last part that makes me so sad.

I was really marked by a commercial that was played over and over again in our bicentennial year, 1976, to ask America to keep our country clean. That’s the power of marketing. I have thought of this ad many, many times through the years.

The images in the video were of garbage lining the road and the rivers, and on the cliff overlooking the city was an Indian chief in full dress with a tear running down his cheek. The message was simple. Keep America Clean.

To this day, when I see so much as someone tossing a cigarette butt out their car window, I think of that Indian with the tear running down his cheek. We have a tendency not to care much about our Earth.

So I love the chance I get to participate in a cleanup. It gives me great pride. We find lots of tires, appliances, creepy dolls, bottles, buoys, barrels, and tons of general garbage. While I’ve not been on the cleanups that found skeletons and cars, I know that the organization that runs the cleanups have found all this, and more.

It was a young college kid that started this organization because of his passion. Now in his thirties, he’s been on “Dirty Jobs” and he’s won National Awards. He’s a great example of what living out your passion can become.

DAY 245 HOMEWORK: Even if your passion doesn’t win you national awards or even accolades from those around you, live out your passion. Make a difference where you are.

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