I wasn’t going to write about my experience this morning but after thinking about it for a while, I decided that to not write about it, was in my opinion, being disingenuous. I am human and humans are flawed and sometimes, no matter how Buddha-like we try to be, our emotions win out. Today was one of those days.
I got up this morning thinking today is going to be great. I mentioned a few things I was grateful for before I got out of bed… did some deep breathing…fed the fur babies, a short meditation, and even did modified Sun Salutation yoga. Everything was humming along quite nicely until I stepped outside my home. I live in a condominium complex — a really nice one, with trees, birds, and a lot of quiet time. We have several dumpsters that sit along the perimeter of the complex by the long oval-shaped driveway. The condos are on the inside. We do not have separate dumpsters for recycling…it’s 2013 and I live in Southern California…you would think the complex would get with the program…the recycle program, that is.
I have lived here for two years and occasionally I see individuals on bicycles loaded down with plastic bags containing crushed soda cans going through the dumpsters looking for recyclables. It’s usually the same two guys. They are quiet and don’t make a mess…in a nutshell, they are just trying to survive. I don’t know their personal stories…like why are they looking for cans…are they homeless…looking for extra income, and frankly, it’s none of my business anyway.
There are signs on the double gates that house each dumpster that give the official city codes about trespassing, dumping and scavenging. No one has ever said anything about them looking for cans — until recently. My husband told me a month ago that he saw a female neighbor yelling at one of the men because he was breaking the law.
Today, I saw a city code enforcement officer speaking with one of the men over by the dumpster. I knew what was going on and who probably called them to come out. All my meditating, yoga poses, affirmations — went out the window. I saw red!
I went over to the men and asked what was going on. The officer told me he got a complaint from one of the residents that someone was going through the dumpsters. I told the officer that person who called was being petty and that the guy is trying to feed himself…and I said some other things that I can’t remember…the word Bitch probably was used…at least once.
People ignore the *code* warnings all the time around here. There are countless times that furniture, old water heaters and mattresses are thrown in the dumpster area –not even inside the container. The landscape company, who has worked here for twenty years, are guilty of throwing clippings from other complexes in our dumpsters. Are they bothered??? No, of course not.
I tried very hard not to yell at the officer…he is just doing his job, but I am sure he could feel the heat.
After I left, I thought about what had happened and how easy it was for me to get mad…especially when I believed someone was being picked on. How would I have reacted if I hadn’t done things to get my mind straight? Would I have turned into a screaming nutcase? I had some anger issues in my 20s but I have been good for many years now. I figured that a change of lifestyle and mindset were in order, even if the reason was only to have a healthy body.
I know Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Deepak Chopra get pissed off sometimes. Jesus, even had a few melt-downs. It’s part of being human. So instead of being mad at myself (I’m not mad for speaking up though)…I could have been calmer about it — I will try to do better next time.