On Tuesday night, my mom's brother Uncle Jim, and his wife Aunt Jean, stopped at the Farmhouse on their way through Utah to visit my parents. All the family in the area gathered for dinner, good company and, as always with Uncle Jim, great story-telling!
Mom made dinner exactly like Grandma Southward would have made it. She even used Grandma's own pans. Stories were told about grandpa and others.
At one point, Logan shyly approached Uncle Jim and whispered in his ear, "Are you Santa Claus's helper?" Uncle Jim's face brightened as he answered in his deep voice, "Why, yes, I am. Would you like to see a picture of me when I'm helping Santa?" Logan nodded as Uncle Jim reached into his pocket, pulled out a small metal box, opened it and produced the most wonderful picture. In awe, but deeply satisfied Logan walked away with picture in hand. In truth, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jean are both Santa's helpers. They graduated from a special Santa's Helpers School in Canada several years ago and built a Santa's Workshop in the storefront next door to their own business offices in California. Each year they open their arms and hearts to children, especially those with diablities, who are much more comfortable in their presence and on his lap than they would be at any mall. And when they tug on his beard, he doesn't mind and it doesn't come off !! Later, the kids had great fun playing games on the front lawn in the dark with only the glow of the porch lights. Just before we had to leave, Uncle Jim showed the kids magic tricks and the kids showed Uncle Jim some magic tricks, too! It couldn't have been a more perfect evening...a Chirstmas gift in October.
I didn't write this and I don't know who did. But, I completely agree with it and I'm on the lookout!!! :-)
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/he can get back her/his focus on what's important.
Five years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a taxi cab in Indianapolis. Here's what happened.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Indianapolis Airport. 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 breaks, 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 bad words at us. 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 almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."
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. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did.
So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." 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, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do 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.
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 Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you?
I am an optimist. I try to find the positive and beauty in everyone and everything around me. My religion and my little boy with cancer are the filters through which I view life.
Perpective is everything.