I walked out of the house this morning, dog on leash, for my daily dose of exercise only to find a garbage truck broken down in front of our home. We never actually see the garbage man because he usually comes by much earlier and doesn’t hang around very long in the pursuit of his duties.
As I approached I noticed him talking to another man, also from the “waste removal company” who had arrived in his own vehicle to provide service to the malfunctioning truck.
When he saw me, my garbage man that is, he greeted me with what was truly one of the warmest, kindest, most sincerely expressed smiles and waves I have ever received. His energy and spirit of friendship was overflowing and the generosity of his offering it to me so significant that I was momentarily overwhelmed.
This happened in an instant. I didn’t even break stride and I barely returned the greeting, so crushed was I by his unexpected goodness.
All I knew in that moment is that my garbage man is happy. So much so that he can’t help but give it away.
And as I walked on I could only ponder what impression I make on people in that moment, that briefest moment of unexpected interaction. Do they walk away “crushed by my goodness”? Do they get the best of me? Or do I offer something more calculated, more focused on preservation than generosity?
My garbage man is happy. And I am, too. I wonder who knows it.