“The Law of Garbage Trucks”

David - Ocean Ridge, Florida
Entered on August 7, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the Law of Garbage Trucks. I learned about this law in the back of a New York City taxi cab.

Sixteen years ago, I hopped in a taxi to go to Grand Central Station. We were driving along in the right-hand 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 breaks, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and when we looked up, our car had stopped just one inch from the other car’s back-end.

And what did we see next? The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a terrible accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face.

And then here’s what blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that!? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of Garbage Trucks.” He said:

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.

So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.

So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the street? It was then that I said, “I don’t want the garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.” Well now “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.

I believe in the Law of Garbage Trucks.

My taxi driver was right. I am happier.