Throughout Thailand, I’ve seen a lot of streets, villages and schools littered with garbage. In the United States, I’ve seen students trash their schools knowing that it’s the janitors’ jobs to clean up after them. I’ve seen adults trash the environment thinking the government or some environmental group will clean up after them. It seems people don’t realize it’s EVERYONE’s responsibility to care for our environment.
At Ban Kumuang School in rural Isaan, Thailand, the students work together each morning to clean the school. While volunteering at the school for a month, I loved watching the students start their school day by caring for their environment with their friends.
In the United States, children repeat
the pledge of allegiance
at the beginning of each school day.
However, unconditional love for one’s country
is not sufficient
to guide one’s education.
We need to learn from the example set
by the faculty and children at Ban Kumuang School.
The environment should be a person’s moral compass
to determine how to properly use one’s education.
It is education without regard for the environment
that has created
some of the 20th century’s most heinous crimes.
It is the educated
who created the atom bomb,
weapons to sell to third world countries,
the U.S. freeway system and oil addiction!
When the U.S. becomes
NOT the largest arms exporter
BUT the largest exporter of green technology,
then the U.S. can rightfully claim to be a country of educated people.