Sixteen years ago I learned an important life lesson, in the back of a New York City taxi cab.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.
My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by mere inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was actually friendly!
So, I asked him, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and could've sent us to the hospital!"
And this is when my taxi driver told me about what I now call, "The Law of Garbage Trucks."
"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. Instead, just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happier because you did." Wow. That really got me thinking about how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? AND, how often do I then take their garbage and spread it onto other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I resolved, "I'm not going to do it anymore."
Since then, I have started to see Garbage Trucks everywhere. Just as the kid in the Sixth Sense movie said, "I see dead people," I can now say, "I see Garbage Trucks." :)
I see the load they're carrying ... I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.
David J. Pollay, MAPP