Dancing man seen on camera picking up trash serves as a reminder that we can all do more

Are you familiar with the tale of the girl who was throwing starfish back into the ocean? The story serves as a parable, illustrating how some individuals may belittle the efforts of others to help, dismissing them as insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The lesson conveyed by the story is that being a valuable member of society does not require solving entire crises, but rather contributing in small, meaningful ways that can add up when many people do the same.

At times, we become so fixated on the enormity of the challenges before us that we overlook the importance of doing what is right and within our capacity.

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  1. Doing small things can accumulate into significant positive change.

In Milwaukee, the Avalon Theater’s surveillance camera captured footage of an unidentified man joyfully dancing down the street while collecting litter. The footage was enhanced with music and zoomed in by an employee (full video below).

Although he did not resolve all environmental issues, he contributed positively in his immediate environment while enjoying himself.

Feeling motivated by his inspiring act? Here are three ways we can follow suit:

Volunteer to participate in a beach or ocean cleanup, even if it’s just for a short time.

I have participated in such beach cleanups before with my daughter at Lake Michigan. It’s a fantastic way to spend a free morning on a weekend, while simultaneously contributing positively to the environment and connecting with nature.

Although you may not be able to clean the entire beach, you will be making a valuable contribution towards the solution. Image by Angie Aker, used with permission.

2. Embrace the role of “the eccentric” who cleans up after others.
Become the friend who stops to pick up litter and encourages others to do the same. Educate those who litter about the negative impact their actions have on the environment. Once, I confronted a friend for littering, and my impassioned reaction stuck with her, transforming her habits for life.

3. Dedicate your leisure time to showing the Earth some love.
Whether you’re hiking or rowing around the lake, take some trash and recycling bags with you and pause at popular picnic areas. You’re bound to come across items that can be discarded, and you don’t have to join an organized expedition to make a difference.

It may even add a spring to your step and motivate you to dance your way over to a nearby trash can.

By modifying what’s in your immediate vicinity, you may be able to change the world!