The cleaning habits of “high potentials”

“On sunny days, the city’s high potentials gather in great numbers and nip from their little cups of wine, talk about their exams and grades, about racism and the semantics of sexism and traveling to Nepal or other places with poor people they could help out during socially aware holidays.”

Sunday in the Vondelpark. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This is a translated quote from an article I read a couple of weeks ago. It’s a scene that takes places every time the sun comes out in Holland and in this specific case the author witnessed it in a park in Utrecht, all though it could be anywhere really. She described how the park turned into a society of its own, with segregation of upper and lower class and every one trying to defend their status in some way or other.

And then the she hits us with some truth:

As the so called high potentials go home they leave behind scorch marks and a spectacular amount of litter in the grass. Cleaning up is something high potentials apparently only do in poor countries these days.

She describes the war zone of trash behind for the cleaners to pick up and how it reflects on our society as a whole. She interviews some of these cleaners, who describe how people throw trash in front of their feet while they are sweeping and assuming they are doing them a favor that way.

Talking about saving the world and totally disregard this when it comes to the scene right in front of them is painful to witness, and I may even be guilty myself up to a certain degree… I traveled abroad and did volunteer work with rural communities in Ecuador. I helped set up classes about preserving the environment through recycling and sustainable gardening. In all honesty my recycling habits back home are quite deplorable, all though I do try…

Reminds me of a blog I wrote many years ago, when I guess I still considered myself a high potential, despite not having the career moves to back that up. The blog was a short analysis of a short story (so yes, this is a paragraph about a blog about a story from a book 😛 ) in which a girl is offered deliverance from her guilt of being a westerner.

So I guess it’s up to me to start with the gal in the mirror! How about you?


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