My parents used to tell me that I needed to clean my plate because there are children in Africa starving. Visions of children with distended bellies and flies in their eyes made me aware of how wasteful every little thing I did was. I didn’t leave the light on because of the children in third world countries who didn’t have an atari to play with. I didn’t leave the water running when I brushed my teeth because of the cholera-children drinking out of the mud puddles.
All of these things have stuck with me as an adult. I give to charity. I volunteer my time. I am generally a helpful person. However I am neither preachy or pushy about the amount that someone gives to others. Therefore I get hellified pissed off when people are preachy with me. I am too damn old to be swayed by “flies in their eyes” tactics.
I did the math years ago when it was pointed out how much good the money I spend smoking cigarettes can do. At about fifteen hundred dollars a year I could help the lives of many people. If the commercials are true than for sixty cents a day you can change the life of one child. My cigarettes translate into about 8.3 kids. Of course keeping a third of a child alive is probably a lot more expensive than caring for an entire child.
People talk about turning lights of when not in use, which is fine, but don’t be a dick about it. Seriously a sixty watt light bulb cost about a penny an hour. That is not a bad deal when you think about it. you can keep the boogie man out of a closet all night for less than a dime.
Again I don’t want to sound like I am against conservation. I am against people with soap box pulpits. I don’t want there to be children with flies in their eyes. I don’t want to sit through another Live-Aid concert. I don’t want this generations “We Are The World” playing on the radio twenty-four hours a day either. I am willing to do my part to make Sally Struthers disappear. But if it was a priority I wouldn’t have written any of this because it cost almost seven cents for me to write this and another seven for both of my readers to decide it was a waste of time. Now go clean your plate.