Sunday, I was walking to church (which I have to throw in because I live in Atlanta and don’t get to walk anywhere—we are a city of cars) and I noticed gobs/piles of trash everywhere. I did not pick up the trash because I had nowhere to throw this trash. But, I got a trash bag at the church and picked up so much in my 1.3 mile walk home I could hardly carry the bag!
It hit me—this is not something someone dropped by accident. This was all intentionally thrown out the car window. The first thought that came to mind was the Crying Indian! I shared this story with Kim, my co-author, and my sister, Julie and before I could even mention the Crying Indian they BOTH said, “We need the Crying Indian!”
Kim and I watched the Crying Indian on YouTube and I was amazed that one commercial impact a generation so much! I am not sure today this commercial would have the same impact. In the 1970s, we seemed to hear a lot more about taking the Native American’s land and then seeing this Indian (who I hear was really Italian) shed a tear that we not only took his land but were trashing it! This impacted everyone I know.
I have never thrown any trash out because this man’s face with the tear is embedded in my memory forever. I work on-site for a builder and the Hispanic construction workers dump their trash everywhere! I am always picking up after them. I thought before this walk, “The Crying Indian commercial did not air in Mexico!” But, now I see it is not cultural, it is generational.
I thank the Keep America Beautiful people for that memory and think it is time for a new campaign!