Since I’ve been living in a dorm, it’s been hard to feel depressed about the direction of humanity. When you walk into a bathroom to find soap…

Since I’ve been living in a dorm, it’s been hard to feel depressed about the direction of humanity. When you walk into a bathroom to find soap smeared on the walls, toilet paper clogging the sink, and unexplained undergarments in the shower, you start to question the hygiene, if not the sanity, of your peers. But joking aside, I actually think the state of the bathroom has a lot to say about morals. For one thing, it’s an example of what people mean when they talk about the tragedy of the commons: when everybody uses the bathroom, nobody feels like taking care of it. You wouldn’t squirt toothpaste on the floor of your own bathroom. But apparently, somebody in my dorm would squirt it on the floor of a shared bathroom (he spelled the word “blue,” if you’re curious). There are plenty of situations like this in everyday life – think about people who litter on shared sidewalks, or on train cars. If you want to quickly and easily become a nicer, more moral person, you can start to treat every environment you’re in as if it’s your own. Not in the “put your feet up on the table” sense, but in the “don’t leave chicken bones from your lunch scattered on the floor” sense.
– Will