Waste! Waste! Waste! Really puts chilli in my mouth. Temperature rises and I definitely see red. Chinese New Year is just a week or so away. There’ll be more waste again. It was an article in the newspapers this morning that set me off.
As always, when Chinese New Year comes round a new set of Chinese New Year paraphernalia will stock store shelves and garden centers. People will be buying brightly colored lights, lanterns, artificial winter willow, miniature orange bushes, paper decor etc. apart from the cakes, biscuits, ‘kuih kapek’, ‘yee sang’ and many other goodies to grace the spread for the pre New Year reunion dinners, sumptuous teas and snacks for friends and relatives over two days of festivity. That’s fine.
They’ll get new plants for the New Year. This year is the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac, so I wonder if any new species of plant will be on display. Still, that’s not the issue. What I remember seeing last year is the thing that turned pleasure to disgust.
There was a miniature orange bush, nice and fresh over the New Year outside a Sega Fredo coffee-house. It was a lovely bush with deep green leaves and miniature golden oranges nestling among them. It was a real living plant. The pot was wrapped in lucky red paper. It was alright for the first week after the festivities. I passed this shop often on my way to the post-office and always had the pleasure of seeing this lovely bush standing outside the coffee-house.
A few weeks later, its leaves and fruits had dried up and dropped off, scattered around the base of its flower-pot.The soil in the flower pot was dried and cracked. This was absolutely heart breaking! The poor plant had been completely neglected and left without water and unfed for so many days in the blazing heat on the sidewalk. Nobody, not the shop owner, manager or staff, cared about it. The poor plant had died.
How could anyone treat a living thing like that? How could anyone let such a beautiful living thing go to waste? People think plants are easily replaceable. Do they know how much we’ve lost? Some of the varieties of fruits we used to enjoy as children, are rarely seen today. What happened to them all? It’s so hard to find the variety of sweet bananas used to make those very crispy battered banana fritters that were so delicious!
My mouth waters just thinking of them. Deep fried, golden and crispy outside, soft and sweet inside, a taste I’ll never forget. That was a taste of childhood enjoyment. It will never be the same again, as that banana variety is now so rare, it’s probably extinct.
Yet, we keep wasting the good things we have like there’s no tomorrow. There was also another report today of a group of about 10 pygmy elephants found dead, probably poisoned by someone. This is an endangered species of elephant found in the jungles of Sabah (North Borneo). The report said that there were only 1000 left on the island of Borneo. Do these people, who can’t appreciate living things, realize that the earth is eroding right under our feet? To cause living things to become extinct only accelerates our own human extinction in more ways than one?
People seem to have lost their humanity in their craving for material things, to the extent that even human life is of little value. Human life has become just another disposable item, so easily replaceable. For how long can we go on killing ourselves like this?
- ‘A very sad sight to see’ (theage.com.au)
- More Borneo Elephants Found Dead, Toll Rises to 13 (abcnews.go.com)