Saturday, May 2, 2015

Green-Up Day

The first Saturday in May is Green-Up Day in Vermont. All over the state, volunteers gather at 9 a.m. to receive a batch of green trash bags and their road assignments. They walk along the roadside and pick up the accumulated winter's trash. It's a family event with lots of kids and parents. I drove the length of Vermont today (read: winding 2-lane roads through the mountains), and saw dozens of full green trash bags sitting beside the road, waiting for pick-up on Monday.

Vermont passed a "bottle bill" decades ago, requiring a 5-cent deposit on many (but not all) bottles and cans. It's meant to make people think twice before tossing a nickel out the car window. Still, there are a surprising number of bottles in the greening grass.

Where do we throw our own inner trash? Do we throw it into the public right-of-way by getting mad about a delay at the airport, cutting off a rude driver on the highway, or talking loudly on our cell phone in public places? Do we say cute, rude things about people we know? Do we indulge in a bit of back-biting about co-workers when they aren't present?

The guidelines for Wise Speech include speaking kindly, saying what is useful and beneficial, and speaking in a timely manner. We are both straight-forward and gentle in our speech.

Let's clean up the edges of our own spiritual path by speaking green-ly and cleanly.

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