Hard-Up Spanish Town Asks Residents to Sweep Streets

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Naharnet): “A cash-strapped Spanish town has surprised its residents by asking them to pick up a broom and sweep their own streets and pavements.

“The official request by the mayor of Esparreguera, a town of 22,000 people in northeastern Spain’s Catalonia region, did not go down well with all inhabitants.

“‘The town hall does not have the financial means at the moment to improve municipal cleaning and gardening services,’ said the request by Mayor Joan-Paul Udina of the moderate Convergence and Union party.

“‘To return to the habits our grandparents had, we ask you to regularly sweep the portion of the pavement and road in front of your house,’ he said.

“’I am unemployed. I don’t earn anything. And in addition they want to put me to work for free to clean the rubbish,” fumed 53-year-old Jose when asked for his reaction.

“But Dolores Serrano, 56, said it was an ‘excellent idea.’

“‘I have already watered the tree in front of my door because I don’t want it to die,’ she said, adding the mayor had issued a simple request, not a directive.”

My Comment: This is where the lack of education in mutual guarantee is felt instantly. A person does not realize that in this way everyone saves collective resources, and common work brings citizens closer to each other, creates a greater similarity to integral nature, and changes the atmosphere in a small town. Now, it would be good to hold a small awareness campaign about the cause of the crisis and its solution!

The cause of the crisis is only to change society: It becomes interconnected. Previously, the desires in each of us were developing, growing, “linearly.” We tried hard to realize them and thus changed our society. But lately, our desires do not grow but are becoming more interconnected, turning our society into a “small village,” and we do not know how to act in such a case because this relationship between us, egoists, runs counter to each of us.

From here we see the solution: to change our relationships with each other and to all the people, to be as one system, a single whole. This will not appear automatically, instinctively, from within us like egoistic desires and thoughts. It can happen only under the influence of the environment that we must build ourselves.

By building the environment that teaches us, we begin to more deeply understand ourselves, our nature, what happens to us, as well as the plan and purpose of creation, right down to the feeling of the acting force of nature—the Creator.
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  1. Asking residents to pick up their own trash and clean around where they are is a great idea. I really like Spain. I visited a number of years ago, and the one thing that impressed me and my traveling companions about it the most is how they took time off in the afternoon to rest for lunch and closed down all the shops. That never happens in the United States. They also, don’t rush you at meals and encourage you to sit and enjoy eating with others. Also, something that doesn’t happen in the U.S. And, they also had “plazas” where everyone in the community was supposed to gather for events or socializing. We thought that was a really great idea, because we don’t have that kind of stuff in our country. Spain is one of my favorite countries because they aren’t rushing to make money, take time off for meals, and value community and people gathering together. At least, that was our impression and we loved it!

  2. I was just discussing this article with friends of mine. And they were talking about how at a yearly concert here in California, called Coachella, there is over 100 thousand people and they cannot afford to pick up after everyone. So, they have this system where, if you pick up ten water bottles that people throw on the ground, and recycle them at a water stand they give you a free bottle of water. We were talking about how it is a good idea because it takes away the need to hire someone to clean up and it motivates people to pick up after each other. They originally started doing it because many people would run out of money and couldn’t buy water, so they told them if they pick up garbage they would give them free water. Those I know who go, say at some point in the day it’s really hard to find water bottles on the ground because everyone has picked them up. This idea of picking up own trash made me think of this. It also reminds me of an article I read recently about a “free” store where people can come and pick out two free items of clothing as long as they bring two pieces of clothing to donate to the store. And, if they cannot afford to donate clothes, then they have to donate an hour of time at the store running it to get free items. So, it’s a mutual exchange and it motivated people. I think it is good. Too bad this doesn’t happen on a regular basis!

  3. Sounds great, the only shame is that the town mojor didn’t go and sweep the footpaths as an example. It seem like the political leaders always lack doing what they preach.At least in the old communist regime the leader always used to throw the first showel of dirt to persuade the simpletons to do the hard work, but now people aren’t so easy to persuade anymore. Their demand for truth and honesty is by far greater than the governments are prepared to give. When will the politicians realize that they’re elected by the people for the people and not for them selves. Arvut!!!!!!!

  4. Yes, it’s all about social education and collective consciousness;

    I’ve lived 10 years in a small town named Landshut near Munich – Germany, where everybody is responsible to clean the sidewalk in front of his housedoor, the owners of bistro clean their own terrace (public one)…All this is done by the community in a natural way, which counts about 62.3 thousand inhabitants.

    Germany has developed a collective consciousness for the conservation and well being of their immediate environment and of the global one; sorting the waste for recycling (obligatory for everybody- a foreigner is constrained to learn/to do it), people prefer buying articles that can be recycled and low-energy cost ones, buy second-hands, innovate and use alternative technologies, etc.

    Germany counts about 81.8 millions inhabitants over a territory of 357,021 km2 – the most populus state within the European Union…It is about time that most of other country leaders and their population awake…

    A Canadian

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