To heap garbage or kindness?

A couple of weeks ago, another blogger that I like to read, Cheaper By the Half Dozen (, posted a story that she received in an e-mail. The little story struck me. It made me think about myself and how often do I “dump” my frustrations on those around me, especially the ones I love most – my husband, son, and daughter. I thought I would share the story with you to see if it hits a nerve with you as it did with me.

Garbage truck in Mexico City

Garbage truck in Mexico City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.


In fall 2010, I took a job with Hobby Lobby as a cashier. My husband had started his own business and we needed the income. I hadn’t worked outside the home for 20 years. It was strange to leave home and go to work somewhere else each day. I didn’t particularly like the job, but it was necessary for that time.

One of the things I tried to do in that job was to be pleasant with co-workers and customers. I wanted to shine Jesus to those around me. The Law of the Garbage Truck reminded me of that time. So many times, customers would rant and rave to me about something and I’d realize it had nothing to do with me. So, what would I do? I’d “kill” them with kindness. So many times, a smile or kind word would diffuse the situation.

I think too many people in our society today don’t receive much kindness as they go about their day. So, I made it my mission to provide that kindness. It made my job have an extra dimension that helped me to get through my day. I was playing a little game that no one else knew about. The game of “Let’s see how many people I can get to smile today.”

How full is your garbage truck? Do you spill it all over others? Try playing my game while you are out and about. See how many people you can get to smile – at the grocery store, at the BMV, in a restaurant, at work. Not only does it help others, it helps you as well. Garbage just can’t live amongst smiles and kindness.

Those are my thoughts for today.


One comment on “To heap garbage or kindness?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s