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How often do we let other people's temper affect our mood? Do we let a terrible driver, or a rude comment ruin our day?

The mark of a spiritual aspirant is how quickly we can regain our focus on what is important. One man learnt this experience while in the back of a New York City cab. Here's what happened.

He was traveling in a taxi, on his way to Grand Central Station. All of a sudden, without warning, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of them. The taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car's back end by inches.

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Then, the driver in the other car, who nearly caused a huge accident, whipped his head around and started abusing the taxi driver.

But the taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. The startled passenger said, "Why did you take it so easy? The guy almost caused your car to crash and send us to hospital!" The taxi driver laughed and then related what he called, "The Law of The Garbage Truck."

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"Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of rubbish, filled with frustration, bursting with anger, and packed with 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 it all on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be glad you did. I assure you.”

The passenger started thinking how regularly he let garbage trucks run right over him? And how frequently he took his own garbage and spread it onto other people, at work, at home, or on the streets? It was that day he promised to himself, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

Over time he learnt how to distinguish when a "Garbage Truck" was coming to dump all over him. He noticed the junk they were carrying and prepared himself to avoid it all being unloaded onto him. Like the taxi driver, he did not make it a personal thing; he just smiled, waved, wished them well, and moved on.

In His own inimitable way, Bhagavan also tells us:

“Be always saturated with Love. Do not use harsh words against anyone, for words wound more fatally even than arrows. Speak softly and sweetly. Sympathise with suffering with an unshaken faith.”

Adapted from  "Let the Garbage go by..." By David J. Pollay

Illustrations: S. Aditya, SSSU

- Heart2Heart Team


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Vol 6 Issue 03 - MARCH 2008
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