Did you know that London’s cabdrivers are bound by law to keep their taxis clean? Failure to do so may result in their being banned from the city’s streets for a period of time. Even when road conditions are bad and most cars stay dirty for days on end, the London taxicab is spotlessly clean. The vehicle’s shiny surfaces evoke in the driver and his passengers feelings of pride and pleasure.
Similarly, when our home, our clothes, and our belongings are clean, that promotes in us a feeling of well-being. Woe betide the schoolboy whose mother sees him come into the house and leave a trail of mud on the carpet from his dirty boots!
In fact, good health depends a great deal on personal cleanliness. Our body requires regular care and cleaning to remove dirt that would provide a foothold for disease. Commercial companies make vast profits selling cleansers, detergents, polishes, soaps, shampoos, and disinfectants that we use to keep ourselves and our immediate surroundings clean.
Surely, most people are conscious of the need for cleanliness. But if you live in a city, you know that this is not the whole story.
City dwellers are well aware of pollution and the defiled environment. They see it in uncollected garbage, in litter carelessly left on the streets, and in crude graffiti on public buildings. They smell it in the choking fumes from dense traffic and in the acrid smog that plagues some cities.
Perhaps that is why many who live in cities try on occasion to spend time in the countryside. They enjoy filling their lungs with clean air, perhaps even drinking crystal-clear water from a mountain stream. Others like to go to the beach and relax on the sand or cool off with a pleasant dip in the ocean.
Wait a minute, though! Dirt and pollution lurk there too. ‘How can that be?’ you ask. ‘It looks so clean.’ Well, let us look a little closer at that “clean” air and “clear” water.
Moral pollution includes drug abuse, which is more widespread than ever. Pop stars, stage and screen idols, and even apparently respectable businessmen, have become the objects of scandal due to their dependence on drugs.
Moral pollution also includes sexual immorality, which can be the cause of broken families, divorce, abortions, as well as burgeoning epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, including the sinister scourge of AIDS.