Last week was the 14th Halloween we’ve experienced in this house, and I must say that it’s always quite a spectacle in our neighborhood. Each year, literally hundreds of people make the rounds, so we’re always armed with copious amounts of candy.

I enjoy the trick-or-treating tradition as much as the next person, and I especially look forward to seeing all the costumes that make their way up the sidewalk. Some are of the DIY variety (and very creative), some are store-bought (and equally awesome), and then there are the few that aren’t dressed up at all.

Unfortunately, this was also the 14th year that candy wrappers completely littered our neighborhood. Like I said, I’m all about giving out candy and having some fun, but I just don’t understand the need to throw the stuff on the ground. I don’t get it.

I’ve made it a point each year to bring a plastic bag or two with me on my walks the morning after Halloween. And this year’s haul was no different. The photo above is of two bags completely full that were collected over the course of just half of my walk route. I didn’t bring enough bags that day and came on back home, but I managed to fill up one more bag the next day when I made it to the second half of my walk.

I promise you that it’s just as easy to put the wrappers back in your candy bag as it is to drop them on the ground. And why are so many parents allowing this to happen, if they’re not doing it themselves? Again, I don’t get it. I guess the mentality is that these people either don’t care or just assume that someone will come behind and clean up after them.You also never know when you might get a note in your mailbox like the one I received below!

While we’re at it, here are a couple of other things that really chap my hide:

Parking in handicapped spots without a designated tag or placard

I’m amazed at how frequently I see this. Have we really gotten this lazy? Apparently so. I don’t understand the rationale behind taking a reserved spot intended for someone with a disability just so you don’t have to walk as far to get to the store. And I don’t care if you think it’s okay because you’re only going to be in there for a minute. What if that’s the minute that the person for which it’s intended arrives and sees no spots available?

Think about someone other than yourself for once and get some exercise in the process.

Throwing your airplane seat back

Flying is not what it used to be: security lines, agents that seem angry to be at work, people that pack the contents of their homes in carry-ons, more seats crammed into planes, and on and on. For a tall person, such as myself, that last one really hits home.

Let me clarify that I understand you have as much right to want to recline your seat as I do to want you to leave it up. But in the name of all that is holy, please don’t see how far back, and at what speed, you can get that seat-back to move as soon as we reach 10,000 feet.

Every now and then, I’ll have someone ask me first if I mind if they recline. Nine times out of ten, I’m happy for them to do so. Just give me chance to prepare my knees for the impact. And, simply by asking, it shows a least a modicum of consideration.

People, let’s not be lazy. And let’s remember that we’re not the only ones on this planet. Our actions affect those around us.

Sorry for the rant today, but I felt the need to put it out there. When my time is done here, I’d like to think that I left the world just a little better off than I found it. And it’s really not that hard to do. Hopefully more people will start to think this way. Don’t be inconsiderate. Put someone else first, even if you don’t know them. You’ll feel better about yourself in the process.Giving out candy to the youngsters is a treat. Picking up the wrappers left behind is not. Maybe next year my greeting will have a little extra added to it: “Happy Halloween. Please don’t litter.”