My mother, probably yours as well, taught me to clean up my own messes. If I spilled milk on the kitchen floor, if I tracked in mud from the garden or the barn, it was my responsibility to clean it up. I couldn’t blame it on someone else or ignore it. And I certainly couldn’t say no. So clean it up I did.
I learned that was one of the things you did if you cared about those you lived with. You took responsibility for your own mess. That’s part of what it means to be a good family member. I think of it as a good family value.
Our community is a family. Our state is also a family. So is our country. We are often urged to apply our family values to our larger communities. I like that thought.
Wouldn’t it be nice if big oil companies adopted that value – cleaning up their own messes – as they continue to use fracking techniques in places like North Dakota?
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I’m sure their mothers didn’t teach them it’s OK to poison the land and the drinking water of their neighbors. What kind of family value would that be?