Im Mi-ran from Incheon, Korea
On the day of the cleanup, the sky was covered with clouds, contrary to the weather forecast that it would rain. I was worried that the cleanup might be interrupted by rain, but the clouds shaded off the burning sunlight and made a cool, pleasant weather.
We did our cleanup in my village. I was wondering why we chose to do a cleanup in my village. Street cleaners frequently clean my village, and flower beds are well taken care of; it seemed unnecessary to do a cleanup. I was also somewhat anxious that our members, full of the sense of volunteerism and active in participation, might come to the village in a large number, making it the sea of orange vests, only to find no trash.
When the appointed time arrived, the members scattered to the designated areas with the cleaning tools they prepared. The street was clean as usual. However, inside the flower beds where eyes of the people do not normally reach was different from what we saw on the outside. All kinds of trash that were thrown away were hidden everywhere in the flower bed. Not only cans and cigarette butts but also unknown black plastic bags … while picking them up one by one as if we were taking trash out from the trash can, we frowned.
‘People have hidden their trash very deep. How could they have no conscience?’
I thought to myself that I should never live a life of faith that way. If I secretly hide bad habits that are not worthy of a Christian or pretend I don’t have a bad temper, some day, all those things will rot and have a bad smell and eventually my soul will get sick. As I looked at the flower beds that were organized after the cleanup, I made a resolution that I would always keep my soul clean. I think the day’s volunteer service will remain in my memory for a long time as it gave me a simple realization: Inner beauty is true beauty.