If You Make a Mess, Clean it Up

One of the things my mom tried to teach me when I was young was:

If you make a mess, clean it up!

If you don’t clean it up, someone else who cares will have to.


I had the hardest time applying this lesson when I learned to cook.  I would make cookies in the kitchen, and then leave the mess in the sink for her.  Sometimes I would even clean up the beater and mixer while the cookies were baking, but then run out of steam when it came to scrubbing the pans.  I had to learn, over time, that the baking wasn’t finished until the entire mess was cleaned up.

It’s the same with our earth. Enough with coaxing people to “go green.”  Enough with the treaties and the political posturing.  Enough of the debating over climate change!  Let’s just make this rule: if you make a mess, clean it up!

As I’ve stated before, my personal feelings about “green” is that we can and should be better. Most of the non-green behaviors are borne out of laziness, not any major social or economic pressure.  I’m all for using the earth’s resources.  They are there for us to use.  I’m for moving our societies forward and developing the underdeveloped world, but let’s just keep it clean!

Of course, this makes perfect sense to you if you are a clean person, but it only takes one visit to most any gas station’s lavatory across our fair country to find out that only a very small percentage of the world values cleanliness.

I’m constantly surprised at how complacent we can possibly be about living in our own filth!!  Have you seen the air quality in Asia lately?  Did you see the air quality in LA 20-30 years ago? Have you ever seen some of the men’s bathrooms in this world?


Even in the highly educated, highly professional workplace that I work in, there are slip ups.  For example, last week someone totally missed the toilet and left a puddle on the ground.  I’m not talking a few drips… a puddle under the toilet!  Nasty!  Then it just sat there for the whole day.  Then the next day.  Then the next.  Now, a week later, it is a dried up yellow spot the size of a dinner platter on the ground.  EWWWWW!

This is the worst it’s been, but the more common problem is people who drip under the urinals.  Dude… step up to the plate and make it all happen in the magical receptical.  There is no excuse for missing.  You don’t get extra credit for “look mom, no hands!”  Step up to the plate, aim, and make sure it all gets in there.

Thank you, world!

4 thoughts on “If You Make a Mess, Clean it Up”

  1. a place as big and wealthy as Cisco should have a housekeeping department that would clean up that mess when you all go home in the evening.

  2. WE… I just was checking-in to see how things are in your ‘neck of the woods’ and this is the posting I stumble across… interesting food for thought. You’ve inspired me to ‘go green’ and to never set foot in your office’s bathrooms, should the opportunity arise.

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