At times, a problem can be approached and observed indirectly in order to better understand it. For example, look no further than The Rust Belt area's abundant litter to understand the poor attitudes of some area residents in regards to decaying urban aesthetics.
A squirrel nimbly trotting about the greenery in front of an inner city traffic circle. As the creature hunts for food, it goes without. What it finds is much less nutrient-providing, offering only that which it does not need. Instead of finding what it requires to survive, it picks up and gnaws on a piece of trash to investigate. However, for this squirrel, this item is nothing of importance, provides no nutrition, and may very well end its life if consumed. It disregards the many pieces of trash in its path and heads through the bushes towards the traffic circle. Perhaps there may be a better chance of finding food across a busy highway where death is no stranger to its kind.
In The Rust Belt, this is no uncommon site. Ranging from large to small, animals are taunted continuously. Always suspecting that what they find may be edible, numerous animals investigate our trash and some even consume the dangerous items. Trash is nothing new around the area, and has been an issue for quite some time. In fact, until it is pointed out to many residents of the area, most go without noticing it. To them, similar to our area's numerous animals, the sight is unfortunately common.
Urban decay is the result of many actions in the past both distant and recent. While litter certainly never led to a decline in industry or area shops to close down, it serves a different purpose: it reflects the broken morale and careless attitudes of many of The Rust Belt area's residents.
The issue of litter may begin to cross into the realm of pollution, but it is indicative of a larger problem relating to this area of interest. There are numerous individuals around our area attempting to better the city, but most have simply given up. Similar to Kmart and other shops which are locally available, aesthetic decay indicates a severe lack of both sincerity and drive. Bettering the mindset and strengthening the morale of The Rust Belt residents is only one step on the path to slowing urban decay, but it is just as important as every other that follows.