Thought for the day. A close encounter with a Wheelie Bin

My thought for the day begins with verses from the book of Proverbs Chapter 15 verses 1 and 18.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

Like all good thoughts for the day, mine is about something unexpected that happened to me recently.

I was returning home from an appointment at my tennis club early on Tuesday morning. On entering the house, I was greeted with the waft of scented carpet cleaner. Yes, the Gleam Team had arrived in my absence.
But my sense of well-being was quickly disturbed when I discovered a bag of rubbish from a pedal bin had found its way into the brown recycling bin for bottles, not the black bin for general household waste.
My arms are not long enough to retrieve the rubbish. After considerable unsuccessful effort I must admit I was wrathful and sorely grieved. I started texting a grievous message to the offender.
I had to take the rubbish bag out of the brown bin which is only for glass or plastic bottles. Please remember to put the rubbish bag in the black bin in future.

Then a second thought occurred to me.
Yes, my grievous words would stir up anger, but would that help? Might it build up resentment?
I edited my text.
Hi, wanted you know you put the rubbish in the brown bin this morning. In retrieving it I had trouble climbing out of the bin. So, please put all bags of rubbish in the black bin in future. I resisted adding a smiley emoji.

A quick reply. Will do. Sorrry. With a smiley emoji.

Yes, I think I have successfully avoided stirring up anger and have appeaseth strife with my soft words.

Students of creativity will be familiar with the way that an everyday encounter opens up opportunities of becoming more alive and connected to others and to what we take for granted, including in this instance a close encounter with a wheelie bin.


By Tudor Rickards

Tudor Rickards is a Business School Professor who has taught and written extensively on leadership, creativity and change management. He has also worked as a scientific manager, journal editor, and entrepreneur. Tudor lives in a part of Greater Manchester which figures in his fictional writings, plays tennis badly and chess more competitively.

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