When I walk the dogs I have lots of time to look around and what I feel most is frustrated and confused. I see all the garbage, the selfish parking - one car right in the middle of a place where two cars could easily fit - the drivers going through red lights, the pedestrians running across the street getting in the way of cars and all other kinds of selfish and thoughtless acts. Am I the weirdo? I care that there is litter on the streets and I always take my garbage - take out coffee cups from when I forgot my reusable cup, any food packaging from take out food or any other garbage I have produced while out - home with me and recycle or properly dispose of it. I even bought metal straws and carry some with me so I never need plastic ones. I separate batteries and other possible toxic garbage and get help from friends to properly dispose of them. The alley I live on got repaved during the summer and the illegally disposed garbage is starting to pile up again.
When I walk my dogs I often stop and pull them to the side so they won't frighten anyone passing by us on the sidewalk. I buy decomposable dog poop bags and even a special diaper disposal can to keep the used ones in to keep the smell contained. I park my car so others can fit and try to give the cars beside me room to open their doors. I make a concerted effort to keep my dogs from too much frivolous barking so people are not disturbed by them. That always seems like a losing battle and I do my best, but the rats in my house makes Boris crazy and he wants to catch them so bad he barks in frustration : they are smarter than him.
Sometimes I wonder why I go out of my way to do all these things when strangers don't reciprocate, when sometimes all my effort is just a drop in the bucket, not making any significant difference in the world. I can only hope that I am making a difference for someone any given day, that I made someone happy even if they don't know that is my intention, that I made even a little difference in someone's life.
This Saturday, November 17, Jeonju-North Jeolla Kotesol is having their annual regional conference. It is being held at Jeonju University in the Star Center on the second floor. You can find the entrance across from the student center which has the clock tower. We are inviting all English teachers to attend. Registration starts at 1pm and we will finish about 5pm. We have several speakers coming to present for us and the usual spread of snacks. Even if no one comes, we did our best to prepare a conference to help teachers improve their teaching and learn new methods. Even if I do not make a great difference, I know I try to be a good person each day, I can hold my head up and sleep well at night.