Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Small victories

Warning: I'm going off topic for this blog. Yesterday I had a small victory, and I wanted to share it with any who read this blog, and to encourage you in your own small victories.

We live in Jersey City, which is notorious for two things -- litter and jaywalking. Of course there are many positive aspects to living in Jersey City -- the diversity, proximity to Manhattan, waterfront, church. But the litter really bugs me. I mean really, really bugs me.

So the cemetery next to our church is usually full of litter. Guys hang out in front of the cemetery and drop bottles, cans, wrappers, boxes, newspapers, and other assorted trash. They apparently have no concerns about how it looks. When I walk by it every day I cringe inside. Occasionally I clean it up myself, when I absolutely can't stand it any more.

Several months ago I called the head of Commercial District Services - the folks who sweep up and clean Bergen Avenue, right down on the corner. I asked if they could take a half-block detour and clean in front of the cemetery. By the way, the cemetery is owned by the city, so they are the responsible party. He told me they would discuss it at their meeting, and never got back to me. I tried a few more times and couldn't reach him.

Yesterday, in a fit of frustration, I called again. He acted immediately. When I walked by the cemetery on my way to school this morning there was not a piece of paper, a bottle, or even a cigarette butt in sight. Not only did he send someone to clean it early this morning, he sent me emails showing 'before and after.' What a lovely sight - just grass and gravestones. He promises me they will now keep it clean.

This is a small victory, but for me, and important one. How our neighborhood looks is important to me, and it sets the tone for our block.

Is there something that really bugs you, that maybe you can do something about. Take some action. You might be surprised at how God can use you to make a difference.

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