OF FAITH AND FABLES

By Bob Haynes

Garbage Truck

 

We really waste a lot of time worrying when it is really just that:  a waste of time. A lot of our worries are about things that actually never happen, and many more of our worries are about things we can’t do anything about. Seems to me that the logical conclusion about all that is this:  If you can do something about what you are worrying about, then do it.  If you can’t, then don’t.

Those thoughts reminded me of an e-mail I received a few years ago that talked about “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” While it didn’t focus on WORRYING it really hit home about how we often allow circumstances to cloud our mood and how we allow other people’s actions to ruin our day.

That article tells the story of a near accident in a New York City taxi. The individual relaying the story said that he was on his way to Grand Central Station when a black car jumped out of a parking space in front of them. The taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car by inches. What happened next would change the writer’s life.

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started to yell obscenities at us. What really blew the writer away, however, was what the taxi driver did in response. He just smiled and waved at the guy in a very friendly manner. When asked why he did that in response to someone who had almost caused us to be in a terrible wreck the taxi driver told him about “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” Here’s the way the taxi driver explained it.

“Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it.  AND, if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happy you did. I guarantee it. And that’s the Law of the Garbage Truck.”

The writer of the article said that he began to wonder just how often he allowed Garbage Trucks to run over him. And, how often did he take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets. After considering the validity of the Law of the Garbage Truck, I found myself being more involved than I thought. In fact, just remembering instances of taking home someone else’s garbage and then spreading it my self, brought tears to my eyes.

Now, the author said, he sees folks who are like garbage trucks. He sees them coming to drop the load off and doesn’t take it personally anymore. He said, “I just smile, wave and wish them well, and I move on.”  What a great idea.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be much happier. I guarantee it. Shalom!

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