Why Can’t We Be as Happy as Trash Collectors?
In my building, we put our trash outside our doors two days a week and someone comes by and picks it up. We are instructed not to put our trash out the night before, but to put it out between 6-8 that morning. Well, what if you put it out right at 8 and trash collection started at 6, so you missed it?
One morning I happened to catch the guy as he was collecting it and I asked him about that. He smiled and said he didn’t usually start until 7:30, but that he always went back through just in case someone put it out a little bit late. I thanked him and he just smiled and nodded.
He was so pleasant. He was so nice. About picking up trash! He does other things for management, but they’re all grunt work like that. And he’s so happy!
I’ve noticed that before with people doing what we call menial, unskilled labor. They don’t seem to be at all bothered by it. And if you think about it, why should they? Why shouldn’t they be happy? They know where they are in life, they know what they will be doing each day. They are living within their means. They know exactly when and how much they will be paid, and they know it’s enough for their needs. This also allows them to budget, which helps with a feeling of security.
I do not think money is the root of all evil (not an accurate quote, by the way) and I don’t think money makes you unhappy. But I do think worrying about it does. So, maybe it’s not lack of money that stresses us so much. Maybe it’s the discontent with where we are.