For some hard-to-fathom reason, the word ‘do-gooder’ is most often employed as an insult these days – most often directed at those who are seen to be interfering in others lives.
It’s a strange development, because really, if taken literally, the moniker should be a badge of honour.
We regularly report in The News the actions of people ‘doing good’, and we do again today in several places, most notably in the story about the beach clean in Southsea.
In general, we have a clean beach here. After hot weekends, there can be a lot of barbecue and drinks detritus left – and shame on those who leave it – but the council’s contractors, to their credit, are normally quick off the mark in tidying up the beach and the common.
However, look closely at the beach, as a team of volunteers did on Saturday, and it’s clear that there is still much that remains. Some is from sewage, and some is washed-up flotsam and jetsam, but there is plenty there that has been left intentionally.
As having a warm summer becomes more of a reality, we pay tribute to those ‘do-gooders’ who have helped improve the beach – and in one case, having travelled from Cornwall to take part.
But the flip side of that is that the message has to be repeated that it is unacceptable to drop litter. It shouldn’t be necessary to have to say this, but around the city and surrounding towns there is a shameful amount of rubbish left in the gutter – being predominantly snack food wrappers and drinks containers, it cannot all be blamed on foxes.
People often proclaim their pride in their home towns and cities, but among a number of people it seems that this does not extend to not using the area as an open rubbish bin.
So let’s take heart from the example of the beach team and make an effort to pick up and dispose of rubbish where safe and hygienic to do so – and also to deter anyone we know from dropping it in the first place to try to eradicate the problem.
That would be proper example of being a ‘do-gooder’ – making our area a better place to live.