One Man’s Junk

The chair slammed against the inside of the truck, breaking into bits.
A table soon followed – it’s legs splintering.
An obsolete typewriter, a couple of fake plants, an old metal lamp.
All household items that were no longer being used, needed or wanted.
They were all being tossed into a two ton truck, piled high to nearly overflowing.
It broke my heart a little to see all those things, that were once loved, once used, once a part of our daily existence, being treated like trash.
Well, I guess they were.
But to be so violently dispensed with was unnerving.
They had served their purpose, to be sure.
And at one time were needed, loved and cherished.  Used.
But here we were, downsizing, and needing to get rid of stuff.
A lot of stuff.
And a mere 45 minutes later, the two ton truck was nearly overloaded.
And more than $600 later, it was on its way to the dump.
That’s how one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
The treasure of companies that earn their existence by taking away other people’s junk.
And what a business it is!
And what a first world problem it is!
Imagine having so much STUFF that you don’t need, that you DO need to call a company to help take it away.
It is a shining light on how we are such a capitalistic, materialistic, consumer driven society, that we PAY to have stuff we have BOUGHT taken away to the dump.
Although granted, hopefully that stuff has served its usefulness and owes us nothing.
I won’t get into the fact that there are so many people in the world who don’t have STUFF in the first place, let alone enough to call in a company to get rid of it.
Last week while at a cottage with no weekly garbage pickup, we had to physically go to the local dump to drop off our garbage and recycling.
And there were signs everywhere to “Beware Of The Bears!”
You see, there are some small communities in rural areas that still ask you to BRING YOUR GARBAGE TO THE DUMP.
That involves getting into your car, bringing your stinky, dripping, disgusting garbage and recycling along with you in your vehicle, stopping at separate stations to drop off the actual garbage, and then sorting the recycling into its appropriate areas.
All the while, observing signs that read “Caution:  Bears can be unpredictable!”
That means that the local black bears are feasting on our garbage.
I didn’t see one while we were there.
But I did see a lot of seagulls, fearlessly picking away at the garbage pile, like a group of white, winged cockroaches.
But, after all, they are the cleaners in our society.  So I cannot think badly of them.
They are like the crows and vultures – their life purpose to be the janitors of the world – their sustinence is the detriment of others.
And I thought, as we distributed the appropriate garbage bags and recycling containers, that if everyone had to bring their own garbage to the dump, to see where it goes and what is done with it, would we be a better society?
Would we be more appreciative?  Less taking it for granted that when we put our garbage at the end of the driveway each week, it will just be “taken away?”  Out of sight – out of mind!?
We are such a consumer driven, commercial, capitalistic society, that we take it for granted that what we buy today, will be garbage one day.
We need to be so much more aware that what we buy today, will be our problem one day.  Because surely this world, our societies, our communities, will run out of room to put all our garbage.  Our STUFF that we don’t need, want or use, anymore.
And so, I ask, that if it is at all possible to second-question each and every purchase we make, to make sure we will need it, love it, want it and use it, before it is cast aside into the purgatory of the local landfill, then that will be a great day.
And perhaps the end of another man’s treasure…

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