It is human nature to judge others. Usually, I don’t like to resist nature and how it works, but this is once instance when I do. I have had numerous events in my life, more than I can count, when I have learned to either not judge others, or in the very least, make my own judgements and never base my feelings on what others say. I am still learning, I’m not perfect, even though I don’t believe in judging others, I still slip from time to time.
Living in a small town, we don’t have the luxury of curb-side recycle pick-up like I had come so accustomed to when I lived in the city. The small town citizens have to collect the objects in our own recycle containers, then drive them to the designated site to dump them. In our house, they accumulate so quickly, so when I do get around to delivering them, they fill the entire trunk of our vehicle.
I have a small window in each day with a bit of free time when I rush around and get things done around the house before school is out. One ordinary day, I used that time and decided it was high time to take back my laundry room to get rid of the accumulated recycles. I had better wait to drop them off, I concluded, until the youngest got out of school (he gets out slightly earlier than the others) because helping with recycling is his chore. I have no idea how it happened, and parents out there, I have no tips other than magic about how I achieved this, but if anyone does one of the kids’ chores, they are in BIG trouble. I can’t vacuum without getting a chew-out by the child who was assigned that chore! So, if I were to do the recycles on my own, I would have had to hear about it until the day I died.
After picking the kiddo up from school, we headed over to the recycle drop off site. As we drove up, I noticed a motor scooter bike with an old milk crate on the back filled with what looked like a bunch of junk and then several full plastic grocery bags lay at the floor where the feet usually rest. A little chihuahua dog was running around, but there wasn’t a visible person around at all.
I am painfully shy at times, and find it difficult to meet new people, so it was easy to make yet another of those dumb human-nature kind of judgements and I just didn’t want to deal with finding an unsavory person at the recycle bins… especially when I had my kid with me. I just about continued on, but a voice in my head convinced me that I was being silly, making those dumb judgements again. Besides, I already told my kiddo that we were going to do his very favorite chore… what was worse? Listening to him whine and complain, or meeting someone new? I parked the vehicle.
As I climbed out of the van, I noticed a head pop up in the great big, metal recycle bin that looks like one of those giant garbage bins, but with windows to throw the various articles to be recycled. Then out climbed someone. First came a leg, followed by two more arms and the other leg. Now there was an owner to that bike and dog. Still, not really knowing what to think, I pretended to be unphased by all the weirdness and by what had just happened and continued to the rear end of our van to quickly get the recycles out and get our job done as soon as possible.
The woman who had just crawled out of the bin, metal in one hand, pop bottles in the other joyfully announced that she was going to use the metal square forms to create a hanging lamp shade, and the bottles as a form of shrinky-dink art. She went on to explain that the beautiful blue glass alcohol bottle in her milk crate could be a modern style hanging light shade as well. I am sure she felt compelled to share that information because she had some concern about how I felt about stumbling upon a person climbing out of a recycle bin.
We ended up talking for a full half hour! The delightful woman was a quirky artist (the best kind) who had deserted her college degree for a life of art made out of re-claimed objects. With her very successful blog she writes about her art and the pieces she creates, she is able to make a pretty good living!
So I just passed yet another lesson in the grand old school of life. Never judge those who dumpster dive… there may be an awesome artist in there!