As of late, I have been hearing on the radio that they’re cutting the budget for janitors in our schools and now students are protesting because janitorial services are not keeping the place clean enough and so on.
On the one hand, I feel for them.
They are doing more work and being under greater pressure to clean and perform at a higher efficiency than may be possible (not sure if this is truly the case or not, but let’s assume yes).
Not only that, all students have a right to study and work in a clean environment that is safe, and janitors help that.
On the other hand, I wonder our culture is the problem.
Let’s think about this for a second.
In Japan you have a culture where it’s actually the students who clean the school.
They wash the blackboards, sweep the floors, empty the trash cans, and clean up the hallways.
As a result, they are less likely to spray graffiti, drop litter in the hallways, make a mess, use their skateboards inside, and generally create a disgusting environment because inevitably, they will be the ones who will have to clean up after themselves.
I am not saying that Canada should move to this model entirely, but I wonder if students would be as likely to litter and be as dirty as I’ve seen some of them be if they were the ones who had to spend hours scrubbing it off the walls.
I know that without a doubt, when Baby Bun gets older, if he makes a mess, he is going to damn well clean it. There will be none of this long-suffering parental slavery that goes on where the kids make a terrible mess and then run away giggling to go play or do something else while their parents have to bend down on hands and knees to clean up.
I understand that he might be too young to do it but at a certain point, he will be old enough. If he’s old enough to clean himself, he’s old enough to wipe a spill off the ground.
The same goes for society — if we were the ones going around picking up all this litter, scraping gum off the sidewalks, cleaning graffiti off the walls… would we be more apt to stop it when we see it and to be proactive rather than reactive?
Just a thought.