Love is Responsible

cigarette photoI was walking behind a man who was smoking. He stopped, dropped the cigarette on the sidewalk and crushed it out with his shoe.

Almost everyone I see smoking flicks the still lit butt into the street or drops it on the sidewalk or some other public place expecting someone else to clean up after them. For too many years that is exactly what I did until I became conscious of the negative impact my cigarette butts had on the environment, animals, children and other people. So I was very pleased to see the man bend down, pick up his cigarette butt and put it into the trash can.

“Thank you so much,” I said. He looked completely shocked and surprised as he took my extended hand. While shaking his hand I said, “I really appreciate you putting that into the trash can.” He said, “You’re welcome. I always dispose of them. Since I smoke it is my responsibility to clean up after myself.” Now, that’s one classy person.

I should know because for 22 years I was an irresponsible, crass jerk who did not think about where my toxic cigarette butts ended up or who cleaned them up.  But they were my butts and my butt is always my responsibility.

From one ex-smoker to those out there who still smoke. Give up smoking for you and those you love. BUT until you do, give a damn about where your butts end up because the gutter, on the sidewalk, in the forest, out the car window, in a parking lot, on the grass, in the ocean, are NOT responsible places to dispose of cigarette butts.

Be a mensch (Yiddish for a person of integrity and honor) and put them in the trash or inside the cigarette pack because it’s your butt and nobody is responsible for your butt but you.