I left the gym today and stepped into hot melted gum that had been spit out and left stuck to the parking, lot. How rude, I thought, that someone would spit out their gum. The pavement was hot so the gum stuck all gooey mixed with bits of dirt to the tread of my shoe, immediately I thought of Singapore where it is a crime to chew and spit gum in pubic. It should be a crime here in the US, I thought to myself.
Imagine if it was against the law to chew and spit in public. The chewers of the world would proclaim their right to chew. I would proclaim my right to not have the ground polluted with their gooey mess and to keep my shoes from sticking to the carpet of my car.
Now I had to go home and dig the gum off my shoe. This is an imposition. But what does this have to do with proactive ageing?
The older I get the more I am aware of how our behaviors and habits can negatively impact others. I think about respect and kindness. I don’t consider the pavement to be my right, but the right of everyone to be able to walk without having your foot stuck to the cement by someone else’s chewed and spat out gum. Not 3 feet from the place where I contracted the gum was a trash can. Couldn’t the gum chewer at least spat the gum in the trash?
I take the attitude that every little bit that we all do to make the world a little cleaner and l a little better for everyone is a good thing. But some people take the attitude that, well the worlds a mess; I might just as well contribute to it. That seems immature to me.
This is not the first time I have had gum on my shoe and probably won’t be the last. Proactive aging means tolerance, acceptance and respect. It also means I would like to take this gum chewer and stick hot gooey gum to the soles of his or her shoes and smile as they clean up a gooey unsanitary mess left by someone else.
Proactive aging also means speaking up when something is harmful, disrespectful and downright rude. So to all you gum chewers; it’s damn rude to chew and spit. You’re polluting the environment and you are disrespecting others. If you must chew think and chew at the same time. Swallow your gum and clog your own internal system or simply find a trash can and If you need to spit- spit in the can!