How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels. However the mark of a successful person is how quickly one can get their focus on what’s important.
Many times when I’m taking the trash can out to the curb, I remember a story that came across my desk several years ago. This particular individual hopped in a taxi and took off for Grand Central Station. As they were driving in the right lane a black car suddenly jumped out of a parking space right in front of the cab. The taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches.
The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words in the direction of the taxi. The taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. He was overly friendly. It was then that the passenger said, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”
This is when the cab driver told him about “The Law of the Garbage Truck”. “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. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happy you did. Not to do so is to allow their garbage to smell up your life.”
Are you like me…letting Garbage Trucks run right over you? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? Let’s make a commitment that we’re not going to be a dumping zone.
When I’m conscious of “The Law of the garbage truck” it’s amazing how I can spot garbage trucks now. I see the load they are carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like that taxi driver, I don’t make it a personal thing. I seek to smile, wish them well and move on.
Walter Payton, one of football’s best players used to do this. Every day on the football field he would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelt on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.
What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? Here’s my bet – You’ll be happier! I also bet you have enough garbage in your own life and don’t need to take on another load from someone else.
“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything” – 1 Peter 4:8 [The Message Bible]