Thursday, August 28, 2008


Do you often let other people's nonsense change your mood? How often do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? One thing to keep in mind is this: the mark of a successful person is how quickly one can get back their focus on what's important. There was someone who shared his experience to illustrate this perspective in this way from the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened...”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 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. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did."

This must be the right attitude one should have when dealing with such people. Allowing them to ruin your day will cause you to miss out the many good things of the day. It will take only one such event to make the whole day sour. Keeping our cool must be the norm of the day. Many incidents occur when one is overcome by their feeling of being taken advantage by another. If not careful, it could result in unnecessary confrontations with the other person. It will be wise to heed the admonition of the following Scriptures:

· Proverbs 14:17, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things…”

· Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. “

· Proverbs 17:14, “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

Having such important guidance in dealing with such circumstances will benefit us greatly. Keep in mind that there are other things that we could redirect such energy. Here are some specific points to remember for each day that you have:

1. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets

2. Love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't

3. Believe that everything happens for a reason. Never let the garbage truck run over you...

It is not that you are not allowed to be angry but just make sure that we remember what the Scripture says about anger in James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

Keep this reminder close to your heart and mind because we will need it. Keeping our cool is better than starting a fire without knowing the effect it will bring personally and those around us. The Psalmist has an excellent prayer that all of us must say each and every day. Here it goes: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalms 141:3) If you must know, I believe that our teeth could become the guard over what our mouth will say. Bite your tongue intentionally whenever there is an urge to retaliate. When you do, you will be the better person always and you’ll be glad you did.

Let’s talk again!