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2018 April | Positively Speaking by BG

A Great Philosophy

I received the following story in my email a while back. It has done the email rounds and is also available on YouTube. In researching its origin I discovered it was written by David J. Pollay in 2007. It originated with an unnamed taxi driver, Mr. Pollay gave it a name and a framework. It is now known as “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-hand lane when suddenly a black car pulled 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 him, “Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and could have sent us both 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 at them, wish them well and move on.” I found this to be a philosophy that, If we take the time to learn how to apply it in our lives, will definitely help us to cope with the stresses of daily life that we all have to face. To apply this philosophy in our lives we need to act on two different levels. To start, we must avoid becoming garbage trucks ourselves, be aware of all the “garbage” that’s thrown at us from outside sources. The TV news or radio station that repeats the “bad” news every fifteen minutes, all day long. Newspapers that reinforce those same negative words and images. Our minds, particularly our subconscious mind, cannot discern the fact that it’s the same news being repeated over and over again. We absorb it all as multiple negatives. The result; a full garbage truck. Thirty minutes of news per day, if properly sourced, will be enough to keep most people reasonably informed and knowledgeable. We also face a barrage of negative garbage from those around us, our associates, friends, family, and those we interact within the course of everyday life. Next, when we face a situation where we are being “dumped” on, we need to recognize that the “dumper” has reached the overload point. We should offer them a friendly face, an understanding attitude, a smile and words of encouragement. We need to stop and realize that they are having a bad day. We should be helping them to feel less burdened, after all, it may be our turn tomorrow, we all have bad days. If we don’t take being ‘dumped on’ as personal, we will not “take” their garbage and spread it around to others and into our homes. The bottom line is that well-adjusted people, who are successful in life, do not allow garbage trucks to hijack their day or their lives. Life’s too short to wake up in the mornings with regrets, so, love the ones who treat you right, pray for those that don’t.

             Life is ten percent what you make it, ninety percent how you take it!