Maybe you can remember years ago, when you threw something out and you thought it was gone. Then the ecological movement rose and that grew into the environmental movement and finally we began to have a realization thatthings didn't actually go away. For a time, the phrase "reduce, reuse and recycle" was in fashion. I think the only part of that phrase that really stuck was "recycle" as bottle deposits returned, recycling centers sprang up and cities and towns instituted curbside pickup for plastics, glass, newspaper and cardboard.
I don't think we've taken the first two prongs of the message -- to reduce and to reuse -- to heart as widely as the recycle part, but I'm pretty certain they'll return in the next decade or so. It makes sense for our personal and planetary well-being.
Here's another way to look at the same phenomenon.
The thoughts, words and actions you toss out and about don't go away either. Think of negative, violent and judgmental thoughts, words and actions just as the gyres of garbage floating around in our oceans. None of it goes away. Instead, it just swirls up into a mess of choking glop, dangerous to innocents who mistake it for food, harmful to passersby who get caught and dragged under by its randomly reaching tentacles.
Thoughts, words and actions that spring from love and compassion, however, are different. They, too, don't go away, however, they typically find themselves recycled into contentment, reused as support and reduced to just feeling loved which, in turn, nurtures cooperation, common ground and mutual respect.
Wherever you go, whatever you think or say or do, you always have an opportunity to leave love behind. You always have the chance to redeem and renew yourself. We may make mistakes now and then, but when we are mindful of the seeds we are sowing, we can grow beauty and love rather than discord, distrust and doubt.
Have a great week. And, please! Don't litter.