When I came to the Netherlands I learned, among many other things, two new concepts: recycling and charity. The first one was not completely new to me. In the Soviet Union we used to collect old paper for recycling to get book points. Those points allowed us to buy a collection of works by Jack London or Alexandre Dumas that were not available in the shops without the points. These books can still be found in nearly every home. I think recycling is a very good idea and I was determined to adopt that right from the start. However, incorporating recycling routine in my household still needs some fine-tuning. I collect paper in paper bags, but half of the time I forget to put it out on the street on the paper collecting day. Then I end up throwing the paper with the general garbage because there’s no space in my shed anymore. The same is about to happen with glass bottles and jars because the glass container has been replaced from around the corner to some other place. Well, I am working on it.
The other new concept was charity. I remember one time at school when we collected school notebooks and pencils for children in some African country. I was eight years old. And I can’t recall any other act of charity since then. Obviously, in post-Soviet Ukraine people were not very charitable. But in the Netherlands nearly everybody I know supports some charity. People donate blood, buy newspapers from the homeless or transfer money to help people in disaster areas. This concept took longer to understand. Finally I reached that level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when charity gets easier to grasp. And then I was determined to resist social pressure and give to charity only when I genuinely feel like helping. Which not surprisingly did not lead to generous contributions to charity from my side.
Mothers for Mothers collect hCG rich urine of pregnant women to turn that into medicines that help increase fertility. For more than a month I will be collecting my urine in blue containers thus killing two birds with one stone. I recycle my urine (isn’t that brilliant?!) and help other women to get pregnant – how much more charitable can one get?
I think I’ll dump all that paper in my regular garbage container and sleep with a clear conscience till the end of the year.
Can’t stop listening to this song: Sie7e - Te Regalo una Promesa