It can be hard, and I mean really hard, to maintain our cool and not attack back when we feel like we’re being attacked. Or, for some reason, someone has done us an injustice, our first instinct is to make it right. I mean, it’s only natural, right? Why should we let someone give us a bunch of crap, and we just take it? It doesn’t matter if the person is a close family member, a friend, or a stranger on the street. We often feel like if someone has done us wrong, we need to return the favor.
As tempting, and as gratifying as it would temporarily be to return the injustice or wrong the person who gave it to us, it doesn’t do anything for our character to do so. We don’t need to sink to someone else’s level to feel better about ourselves. It certainly doesn’t make us a better person to do anyone an injustice, no matter how well deserved it is. So in times where I feel like I’ve been done wrong, I remember The Law of the Garbage Truck…
The Law of the Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly 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 just inches!
The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck”.
He explained that 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 sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
Everyone has a bad day, or even a bad moment. Times where everything just piles up and they have to let it go. As much as I study relationships, happiness, faith, and patience, there are still times where I get overwhelmed and let someone have it. Those are not proud moments, but most of us are guilty of them. Instead of being upset at someone who does you wrong or dumps their emotional garbage on you, try to remember The Law of the Garbage Truck. It’s not personal. We’re all going to need our times to vent and dump some garbage. Of course, we want to try to avoid that, but it happens.
Let your family, friends, or even a stranger dump their garbage on you and don’t take it personally. Wish them well and let them go along their way. Adding negativity to any situation rarely makes it better. Try to remain positive and don’t let their garbage be yours and certainly don’t spread their garbage on to others.