Why do people apologize to me about their polluting?

February 15, 2024 by Joshua
in Blog

I visited with a friend recently. He had just come from working at a cafe.

Overflowing trash can

I asked, “If you sat down and drank coffee there, you used a mug, right? . . . not a disposable cup?

He replied sheepishly, “No, I used a disposable cup. Sorry.”

People keep apologizing to me for polluting. I said, “Don’t apologize to me. It barely affects me. It does, but other people more.”

My questions to you, the reader, especially if you’ve felt apologetic about polluting:

Why apologize to me? I’m barely affected.

Should someone apologize? Do people apologizing to me believe they’ve done something meriting apologizing? If so, why don’t they not do it? Why do something you believe is wrong when you can not do that thing with no problem. In this case, he could have brought his own container with him to the cafe or asked for a mug.

Whom should they apologize to? Who gets hurt from the pollution? Why not find them and apologize to them?

Why does their apologizing to me annoy me so much? I’ll leave this question as an exercise to the reader, but the gist is that they personalize an issue to me that doesn’t have anything to do with me. They could improve their lives but instead the project onto me judgment because they feel guilty, but that’s their consciences, not me.

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