Love Circles

Love Circles, Melisa Hargrove

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share my thoughts on how we can make the earth our Valentine this month, one “love circle” at a time. We all have many loves. I imagine a bullseye, with circles that start in the center and work their way out. To have an impact, we just need to do little things in each of our “love circles.”

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My center love circle is me. I often think of myself first. So how can I personally show the planet some love this month in a way that is completely selfless (no benefit to self)? I am struck with the thought that most every action of love (even if it appears selfish on the surface) benefits someone or something. The most selfless actions of love are ones that are secret. No fan fair, no thanks you, no accolades. So … my suggestion, is just pick up one piece of trash without telling a single person.

The next love circle in my love bullseye is my family and friends. Goodness, I love these people. I want to leave this planet healthy for my grandson, who is not quite two years old. He loved the recent snow and called it bubbles (oh the mind of a two-year-old). The snow covered everything: the grass, dirt, and litter. It was nice to see everything covered with a clean blanket of snow/bubbles. But that only lasted a short time and then the ground was muddy, and the trash was visible again. My suggestion to show the planet some love is to take your young loved ones (they are the ones that we can most influence about the environment) to a place where litter is prevalent and then to a place that is clean. The visual impact of litter can forever influence a young person.

My next love circle is the outdoors. From a young age, my parents encouraged outdoor activities. I have not always enjoyed them, nor was I an athletic child. But the constant outdoor activities made me appreciate and enjoy nature. Now, if you want to find me on the weekends, look for me outside. Why? … Because I love the peace and wonder of nature. As a result of loving it so much, I want nature protected. There are so many ways we can protect nature. One simple way is we can use a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable one, but the list is endless.

The outer rings of my love circle are my neighbors. My neighbors vary from my co-workers, those who live on my street; and people in my town, county, country, and planet. How can I impact my neighbors? Just like the circles of love, we start close to home and work our way out. This month I am excited to be starting Mini Clean Ups with Keep Florence Beautiful. These will be short clean ups during lunch for about 30 minutes in different places around Florence. The goal will be to have an impact in a small area in a short time. Our first Mini Clean Up will be on February 24, 2022 at 12:30 pm at Jeffries Creek Park. Look for the Event on our Facebook page. I hope you will take this opportunity to do something simple with me to show the planet some love.

Melisa Hargrove

Keep Florence Beautiful Secretary

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