(cont’d blog from “The 12th Can”)
I respond in a friendly voice, “This isn’t just any ol trash can. This is the “12th Can.”
I turn the can sideways so he can see the jersey with the #12 on it. I tap it a few times with my finger as I smile.
He just stands there and looks at me like I’m crazy. It’s not the response he was expecting. He was expecting some type of negativity. An argument. Cramp is a bully. He’s been in prison for 15 years and he has a long history of arguing and fighting.
After a long stare he says, “Yeah, but you’re rinsing your trash can where other people shower. That’s wrong!”
I mentally switch gears and view this situation from his perspective. I say, “You’re right. I didn’t think of it like that.”
My responses are slowly dissolving this situation. I sense a slight change for the better in his voice and attitude. I take this opportunity to explain myself. I say, “I disinfect this can several times a week. It’s very clean. Today I’m just rinsing out a few Graham Cracker crumbs.”
“Yeah, well I’ve seen some nasty trash cans,” he says.
I can see he’s done challenging me. This situation is over. So I simple say, “Well you don’t have to worry about this one I always keep it super clean.” And with that, I walk away.
I feel good knowing I avoided a potential problem. That could’ve gotten real ugly. There was a time when that situation would’ve affected my entire mood in a negative manner. But today, I’ve chosen to let it affect me in a positive way.
It actually excites me knowing that I’ve developed the skills to solve problems in a peaceful manner. It’s such a huge contrast to the person I used to be. Progress is being made. It inspires me and gives me the strength to continue down the right path. It gives me genuine desire to be the best man I can be.