The Law of Garbage Trucks

Now-a-days the comments section under online articles has become a more interesting place than the articles themselves :). You find all sorts of comments – funny, hilarious, weird, offensive, spam, well you know. But sometimes you find very well thought out comments too. Today I was reading an article on about road rage in the US (check it out here). As usual went to the comments section and found a really great comment. A user named ‘Kusarigama’ shared a story about a cab driver in  NYC (don’t know if it was the commenter’s personal experience). It was a great story, so I wanted to share it here…

“Sixteen years ago I learned an important life lesson, in the back of a New York City taxi cab.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right 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 brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by mere inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was actually friendly!
So, I asked him, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and could’ve sent us to the hospital!”
And this is when my taxi driver told me about what I now call, “The Law of Garbage Trucks.”

“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. When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Instead, just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happier because you did.”

Wow. That really got me thinking about how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? AND, how often do I then take their garbage and spread it onto other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I resolved, “I’m not going to do it anymore.”

Since then, I have started to see Garbage Trucks everywhere. Just as the kid in the Sixth Sense movie said, “I see dead people,” I can now say, “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.”

(All credit to Yahoo user Kusarigama for the great story :))


Do you Vote?

I have always been an avid complainer, always ready to complain about how bad things are in India. I would jump on any issue, post emotional comments on Facebook, discuss the issues rigorously and essentially do what most of the citizens of our great country do – NOTHING. I recently realized there is no end game to this. This is not a solution. We are just analyzing the problem, and not thinking about the solutions. So I started thinking about what needs to be done. Unfortunately I am too small a guy in this huge country to do anything significant. And I don’t think I am even qualified or capable of suggesting solutions to cleanup this country.

That lead me to think about the small things, but not insignificant, that I could do to at least bring about a little, no matter how little, change in people.

I started thinking about how bad our political system was. But quickly realized it wasn’t the politicians’ mistake that they were able to wield such enormous power. I realized it was us. We are handing the wrong people the power. Some are doing it directly and some are doing it indirectly. Both groups are doing this via one of the most powerful rights that a country could bestow on its citizens. The right to VOTE. Some people are using this right wrong. Some people are wrong by not using this right.

I think most of the educated populace doesn’t really care about elections. They don’t take voting seriously. If you take a moment to think about it, it becomes clear that if a majority of the non-voting reasonably thinking educated voters of this country take time to vote, they can tremendously influence the outcome of an election.

So I decided to try to do something small that a person like me can do – influence at least 10 people that I know to vote. If I can do that, I can be proud that I have done something for my country.

In our country people always come out in hordes to claim and yell about rights. But most of them don’t realize that a right comes with responsibility.

Are you ready to take responsibility? Or are you just content with having a meaningless right?