Without Waste

Imagine you’re walking through a park and you see a big steaming pile of excrement. You start to smell it, in fact it’s all you can focus on, ew. You’re so distracted that you don’t even see the smaller pile right in front of you — squish, you step on some. Despite your attempts to wipe it off in the grass, some fecal bits follow you home.

Now it’s as if turd has become a major part of your life. You smell and see it everywhere. Gross. For some of us, this is a common theme of life: we focus on the worst aspects of the world. What was a mere byproduct takes center stage, like glaring at the noisy guy in the theatre instead of watching the actual movie.

Decades passed before I realized I was doing this. To me, the world was a horrible place filled with infinite unpleasantries, and danger lurked around every corner. I don’t see the world this way anymore. Yes feces is everywhere, and yes I may even step in it, but so what? Instead of looking down, I look up. I see the sun shining through the trees, the glistening water, I hear the songs of birds.

Waste matter no longer defines my life. And if you think about it, excretions are so often a source of delight — comedy is full of it. So in that sense, there are little piles of laughter waiting around every corner — how’s that for positivity? If we look at life lightheartedly, anything can become a source of amusement.

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