It’s hard to take care of the public commons with a population 4 times the size of the U.S. This is especially obvious when you have hundreds of millions people mixing and milling across the country, going home, and taking vacations during their Spring Festival holidays. Often times it’s not the big issues that make a difference, but the
small things that can make daily life and public spaces habitable–or
not. In this spirit, Moobol/Molive.com has a post on Not Forgetting the Small Things During Spring Festival Travels.” 小处不可随便” probably has a better English translation, but for now I’ll go with “don’t forget the small things.” [Update: or perhaps, “don’t forget the little places.”]
The story behind the phrase “小处不可随便” “Don’t forget the small things” is also interesting. According to Baidu Knows, a famous KMT official got tired of people peeing around the premises and wrote a sign saying “不可随处小便” “Random Urinating Not Allowed.” His calligraphy was so prized that someone stole the sign, cut it into individual characters, and rearranged it into “小处不可随便” “Don’t forget the small things.” [Update: Literally, “don’t be too casual in small places”]. This has evolved into referring to things that deface little corners of public space, like littering, spitting, and random parking.