Rotting leaf piles left in the back yard, dog turds from the last decade left scattered everywhere, and every car battery his family had burned through in the last 50 years or so stacked along the side of his garage…probably the only reason it was still standing straight.
This bothered me to no end. I was angry about it from the moment I woke up until I went to bed at night. I would call the city to complain, talk to the neighbors to figure out how we could get him to clean up, I even went so far as to scoop up the dog turds myself one day when he wasn’t home and left them neatly in a paper grocery bag on his back porch.
I know. Disgusting. And I don’t mean the dog turds.
He had owned that property for 60 years. I moved in next door and expected him to change?
We’re awfully good at that, aren’t we? Worrying so much about the behavior of other people without giving a second thought to what kind of person all that complaining makes us into?
What if I had spent all that time trying to build a friendship with him, instead of vilifying him? Would he have been more likely to clean up? Would I have come to be such good friends with him that I’d want to help, or that I would just be able to overlook it?
After what my friends came to call “the dog turd incident” I realized that my behavior had been far uglier than his backyard ever was. I went next door, apologized, and promised to stay out of his business, and was greeted with a well deserved door slammed right in my face.
What is that one thing in your life that gets under your skin? Can you look past it and show love, mercy, and forgiveness? Can you allow the others in your life to be themselves, even if it goes completely against the way you wish they were?
Have a joyful day!
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