Those grimy hands on our stuff.

I just read that 97% of Americans are washing their hands wrong. Not long enough, and not enough soap, is what the survey concluded. We are supposed to “scrub” them, according to the article, for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water. But during the testing, the participants then dried them with a dirty towel. Which put them right in the germ zone again. All of this coming from a study conduct by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, all of this is really no big deal, so long as we don’t touch anything. Most people aren’t bothered by any of this. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes. Unfortunately, for me, I am challenged by my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Personality.

I’ve worked on doing things within reasonable measures, but sometimes it makes me go a little sideways.

For instance, I just saw a few photos this morning from the recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Southern California. One of the shots was an aisle at a grocery store. All the items had fallen off the shelves, breaking, and spilling everywhere. My initial reaction — my attention — went to the big mess on the floor. My thoughts then worried about personal injury and structural damage.

But yes, those California Earthquakes are turning into quite the thing. This year has been severe in the ways of weather. All around the United States. Severe ice and freezing in the Northern States. Snow during Spring in the west. The onslaught of relentless tornadoes across the Midwest and South. Perpetual rain and flooding. Record high 90º temperatures in Alaska. And now. These most recent big rumblers. The weather has been tumultuous.

But let’s get back to hand washing. The findings of the study were common sensical. They concluded that people who don’t wash their hands the correct way, are subjecting everyone to great risks. These people are actively spreading harmful microbes to everything they touch. And, as a result, those people are making themselves, and those they live with, more susceptible to certain infections.

And now back to our planet. We aren’t washing our hands right. We aren’t taking care of the environment. We are touching earth with all our grimy hands and our filthy microbes. And guess what is happening? Yes, as a result. Earth is getting sick. She is spewing, and shaking with aches. Her stomach is rumbling. She is either burning with fever, or shivering from cold. She is begging for help.

Every once in a while, we will get a President who offers a blanket, and a few aspirin. Then some other President comes along, takes away all her medicine, and then adds more grimy dirt to her surfaces.

It feels a little hopeless. But I suppose the best thing we can do, is to keep our own hands clean. Wash them well, and use a clean towel. Or as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”

And then. We can vote.


“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”
— Claude Monet


“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
— Henry David Thoreau


“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
— Aristotle