Grow up

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Someone else’s problem.

We’d like to think that the people who litter around Suffolk just aren’t all that intelligent. That would at least explain how they can conclude that it’s OK to toss trash from their car windows at stoplights, like the person we saw doing just that in the downtown area this week.

We’d like to think that they just don’t realize that the plastic wrappers and fast food containers and dirty diapers they leave in the city’s parking lots will eventually wind up in the storm drains and, from there, flow into the Nansemond River and the James River and the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean.

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We’d like to think they just aren’t bright enough to recognize that all that trash destroys the environment, that it kills wildlife and sea creatures, that it — and this is the least of the problems when you think about it — makes the roads and parking lots and private properties look ugly and generally unappealing.

We’d like to think that the people who leave piles of tires in out-of-the way corners of the city are anything but miscreants without conscience.

But we are forced to conclude that they are simply people who decide they are just too important to have to worry about such mundane matters as picking up after themselves. Tossing their trash or dumping their tires is simply a way of washing their hands of the problem, of making that problem someone else’s, instead of their own.

Of course, civilized people in a civilized society recognize this kind of behavior for exactly what it is — sociopathy, a pattern of antisocial behavior and attitudes that reveals a lack of concern for others.

Clearly these people have not been raised to care that their actions affect the lives of those around them. Clearly they have never been taught the simple lessons most of us learned as kindergarteners. Clearly they have nothing but disdain for their neighbors.

So let’s review, in the unlikely event that one of these clearly ignorant people is reading these words today: Clean up after yourself. Your garbage is not someone else’s problem. We are blessed to live in a place where it’s easy to dispose of your trash correctly. Take advantage of that blessing.

We’re tired of picking up after you. Grow up.