You know the thing about common sense? It is not common. Yup, as Calvin (from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Waterson) very aptly put it: “I have PLENTY of common sense! I just choose to ignore it”.

Calvin and Hobbes

And don’t we all? Common sense can be such a nuisance. Why bother with it at all? Being a complete idiot is so much easier… And we already have such stressed out lives, don’t we? A little laziness, a little callousness, some amount of selfishness should be allowed no? Why bother reaching for the light switch to turn it off, why bother switching off the fan in an unoccupied room, why fix the dripping tap, or just throw an inconvenient plastic bag in a bin? “It’s not such a big deal. Just this once. So many people already do it, what’s the matter if I also just look at my own convenience for a change.” I’m sure the majority of people reading this have had something similar going through their head at one time or another, me included.

Fine, don’t switch off the light. Don’t keep the plastic bag. Don’t fix the dripping tap. But then, don’t complain when you have a skyrocketing electricity bill. Don’t complain when your city is filled with garbage, or when the smoke from the garbage disposal sites starts affecting your health. And don’t complain when you are hit by water shortages and droughts. Because where you yourself are negligent, you will face the backlash. Common sense really… But so uncommon.

We’ve thrown out the old government and brought in a new one, because they didn’t perform or deliver. Probably well deserved too, and I’m not here to argue about that. But as a person, have YOU done what is right? Have you delivered? And I’m not talking about how much tax you’re paying to the treasury; I’m asking have you, as a person, been a better citizen? A better human? Have you refrained from throwing trash on the street? Have you picked up a wrapper and thrown it in a bin? Have you switched off that light? I say “you”, but really what I’m referring to is for everyone to truthfully introspect, and I include myself in this too. Have we really done what we, not ‘could’, but should do?

At the end of the day, it won’t matter which government, or which great personality is leading the country. That is only a bonus… The main criterion is the person himself. And the collective mindset of the people. No matter who the one man may be, he is only one man. It has to be the full 1 billion for the difference to be that great. For the difference to even BE there, it must be the full 1 billion. The government is only as useful as giving us the guidelines. It is up to us to follow it.

Because when judgment day comes, and God asks us why we’ve left the planet in the sorry state it’s in, that’s not really the time to make up a flimsy excuse and tell the creator of the world, “Oopsy. Hehe…uh… I uh… was feeling a little lazy you know… and umm… there was the… uh… the PYGMIES firing at me with bows and arrows!! Yeah, the pygmies!! With their things! They were firing at me! And I was all like, WHOA there!… I’m just trying to pick up this here garbage, you know. Why you, like, shootin… and..stuff? Oh please oh please don’t deep fry me for all eternity!”


You may not even believe in all this. Nevertheless, there should be no reason for shirking a responsibility. One life or a thousand, atheist or God fearing man, judgment day or no, all we have is this one planet. Amongst all the stars in the universe we know, this is the only one rock that is willing to take care of us. Our abuse of it will only make us suffer all-the-more.  Pollution, deforestation, irresponsible industrialization, all these were done with the sole aim of individual gratification and personal convenience. What we must realize is that, while individual, selfish convenience was our objective, we haven’t really accomplished it, have we. Because the same selfishness of ridding oneself of an annoying wrapper, is creating more pollution, and filthier roads, and more diseases. The very same objective of throwing the wrapper has turned around and hit back at you! It is much the same anywhere else. Don’t switch off a light or fan, and there’s less power on the grid, and electricity suddenly becomes more expensive, there’s talk of fuels running out, power cuts and whatnot… Making your life what? More pleasant? Or worse?

It doesn’t end there. Not only have you inconvenienced yourself, you have inconvenienced countless others. If you take a three-hour bath, then know this, there are billions of people who don’t get enough water to even SURVIVE! Try not having a glass of water for an entire day, and just observe the misery you go through. That’s the kind of death you are possibly sending hundreds of others to. You know the worst part? They won’t even be able to reach close enough to plead with you to care.

Every day, thousands of children die of thirst, while we sit in comfort and waste it
Every day, thousands of children die of thirst, while we sit in comfort and waste it
Even animals are hit by our apathy and disregard for water
Even animals are hit by our apathy and disregard for water

Not to mention the entire platoons of plants and animal species that have become a victim to our callousness.

You see, at the end of the day, it won’t matter how power-efficient your refrigerator is, or how well your car scores on the green-scale. It won’t matter how many gadgets are green in however many ways. Being green is not what appliance you use, or how you use it. It isn’t what kind of power runs your house. Being green isn’t about material choices or your lifestyle. Green is not just a chlorophyll-lovers club, it is much more important.

Being green, is an attitude. An attitude we need to have.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *