Tuesday, May 20, 2008


As this column gets read by millions everyday, through newspapers or through the net, sometimes I quite often dread reading the response from readers, some of them quite nasty.

A simple ‘unsubscribe’ is all that is needed, but quite often unparliamentary words hit my Inbox, one such from the partner of a small publishing house in India who thinking he was speaking anonymously waxed eloquent in language not befitting his profession.

“People abuse you on email, thinking you can’t find out!” said a journalist friend of mine as we sat at the press club and to whom I showed the publishers response, “but I’ll tell you a story, it’s called the Law of the Garbage Truck!”

“One day,” said the journalist, “I hopped in a taxi and 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 Bob!”

“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.

“But the bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.”

So if you run into somebody nasty today.

Don’t let him spoil or ruin your day.

Smile as he yells and smile as he shouts

It’s not you that he’s yelling or grouchy about

He’s a truck full of garbage that’s running around

Looking for bin, dump or other available ground.

So by smiling, ignoring and letting him go

You’re lovingly, graciously letting him know
There’s no place for his garbage; ‘Please go sir, please go..!”BOB


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