I did say I was going to start small. Today, on my daily walk, I managed to smile at a stranger passing by. (I had actually planned to say “hello” but chickened out.) And miracle of miracles, the person smiled back. This might not seem that monumental an event to you, but I live in a big city where mere eye contact with the wrong person can get you in trouble.
Fortified by this returned smile, I went one step further and picked up some trash – coffee cups, gum packets, more coffee cups – until my hands were full. (The trouble with spontaneous acts of trash-collecting is … where to put it.) I planned to deposit the garbage in a wastepaper bin I was sure stood in the parkette I pass by on the way home. (Boy, when you pick up one thing, you notice about 30 others – used ziplock bags, cigarette packs, one sock – why is there always one sock?) When I got to the park, hands full of trash, and saw the basket was gone, I faced the prospect of a 20-minute hot, uphill walk carrying trash. Luckily, I spotted an industrial disposal bin in the parking lot of a local business. I tossed everything in, checking over my shoulder for the trash police to nab me for bin trespassing. Phew, no trash cops. This has been a good day.