Thursday, 12 August 2010

Don’t Dump Your Rubbish Here.

It was bound to happen on day sooner or later. Every Wednesday is bin day where I live. That means we but out our rubbish (garbage) for collection. One week it is just the household rubbish the following it is household and garden and so on. Usually they are emptied in the morning and I go out and put my bin away and any of the neighbours bins still out I wheel away for them also.

Yesterday I had not heard them arrive so it had gone out of my mind altogether. Later in the day I drove out the drive in reverse, you have guessed it, and hit the bin scattering my rubbish. Nice job to clean up after just having a shower.

Reminded me of a lesson I learned many years ago.

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 she can get back her focus on what's important.

I learned it in the passenger seat of an old mans car. Here's what happened. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car shot out of a parking space right in front of us. My friend 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 obscenities at us. My friend just smiled and waved at the guy in a very friendly way. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when he told me what I now call, "The Law of the Bin Lorry." (For those of you on the other side of the pond substitute Garbage Truck)

Many people are like rubbish trucks. They run around full of rubbish, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their rubbish 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.

So this was it: The "Law of the Rubbish Truck.” I started thinking, how often do I let Rubbish Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their rubbish and spread it to other people a work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do anymore."

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.

Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.

Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about. The bottom line is that successful people do not let rubbish trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more rubbish trucks pass you by? Here's my bet. You'll be happier. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't.

I told this tale to a lad yesterday. He was getting a lot of stick from others because he is different. He sent me a lovely text this morning saying he had let three rubbish trucks pass him this morning and was feeling better for it.

This blog is linked to my other. Sunflowers 2


  1. I like the "law of the rubbish truck" - thanks Ralph

  2. Great wisdom, as always Ralph. Now, to internalize the wisdom!

  3. Good morning Ralph, I am alive and well! Had a wonderful meal of Chilie Relanos that my daughter made for me! Today is garbage day for me and I always have to write it down! Is dumping garbage the same as telling me your trials and tribulations, fears and apprehensions?
    I always allow that and never take it personally.
    I know what is garbage and what can be recycled!

  4. I LOVE this analogy! (I also love the word rubbish) I think I've let my fair share of trucks change my mood quite often. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I enjoy meeting new people:)

  5. Such a huge wisdom and such a simple narration! I do agree with the law. But some times, when you allow the rubbish truck to pass on, you are enabling some one's ego, by losing your own.. what do you say Ralph?

  6. Good thing you translated Bin Lorry for us. We'd have never guessed! I didn't get to blog yesterday, so I'm making up for lost time. Its a great law, made me laugh. Forgetting about people who don't make me feel good seems impossible for me. Not letting their words or actions hurt you is a great idea, but just as I wrote in your carrots, eggs and coffee story, I would tend to be the pot holder trying to get everyone off the fire. I might find myself pouring lots of energy trying to get the unpleasant ones to leave their dump truck on the roadside and walk away from the nasty load they carry...

  7. Wonderful! I need to do this.