Posted in advice, Book Review, Chronic illnesses, Giveaway

The Law of the Garbage Truck Review and Giveaway

David J. Pollay’s book, The Law of the Garbage Truck™ has recently been released.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review.  David and the people at Sterling Publishing have also generously offered a second copy to a reader from this blog.  More details towards the end of this post.

This is a No Garbage Trucks Zone

A few years ago I found “The Law of the Garbage Truck™,” and over the years, I learned to incorporate it into my life often and when I do, it makes me feel like a better person.  The “law” came to David J. Pollay about twenty years ago while he was riding in the back of a New York City cab.  David was taking the cab to the airport when a black car jumped in front of David’s cab and the cab stopped only a few inches from the black car’s bumper avoiding an accident. The driver of the black car then jumped out of his car and started shouting obscenities at David’s cabbie.  The cab driver, much to David’s surprise, just smiled and waved at the aggressive driver.  In addition, the cab driver was friendly and absolutely charming.  When David asked why he had responded so kindly after what the other driver had nearly killed them, the driver responded,

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.

So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier. 

Thus, the Law of the Garbage Truck™ was born

How About You?

How often do we let people dump their garbage on us and then we spread their garbage to others?  We not only do this with complete strangers but also do it to those we say we love.   There are times we cannot avoid garbage trucks but the point is to not let them get to you because if you do, you start spreading their garbage around. You take it with you throughout the day and then, you take it home and your family does not deserve that.

I have had a tough life and when I was diagnosed, I had finally had my life together.  To add injury to insult, so much came crashing down at me all at once.  One day, I was healthy, stress free, and my husband and I were financially stable.  We had just had a new baby and I woke up a few days later with the inability to walk or use my hands and the realization that my life was about to change.  I spent a year depressed, unsure of the future, dealing with a financial nightmare, just trying to cope, trying to be a good mother, and I had to go back to work while dealing with all this because I could I had to get control of our financial situation.

When all this happened, I didn’t have time to breathe and I saw myself as this garbage truck.  While tried to hide my anger, my grief, my hurt and my disappointment from everyone, including my husband, I couldn’t.  Then one day, I came to the realization that I was better than the person I was becoming.  I was still me, smart and determined and I knew that I could heal.  It is not easy and those of us who live with chronic pain and illness know that it is not easy to be happy all the time but sometimes, a reminder is necessary.  Sometimes, I find myself feeling that I just want to be angry and I remind myself that I won’t be a garbage truck.


The Fifth Commitment of the Law™ is “Do Honor Your No Garbage Trucks! Pledge.”   In Chapter Sixteen, David talks about the birth of the Pledge, and, this part in particular speaks to me.    About three years, David was run over by garbage truck at work and that garbage truck dumped his garbage on David.   It threw his entire day off and he found himself irritated and moody and started spreading the garbage around. As a result, he found himself late for a presentation at his four-year daughter’s camp. When he realized how he was acting, he retraced his steps and remembered how a garbage truck ran him over first thing in the morning. That led him to behave as he did rushing and dumping his garbage. In addition, he realized that he had a habit of packing so much into his day that distractions would put him behind schedule.  David, you spoke to me! This is me! The person who takes on so much and ends up rushing out the door like a mad woman.   As a result, I am taking the “No Garbage Trucks! Pledge” and I implore every one of you too.

There are so many people who look at life optimistically and all have of us have that opportunity to be one of those people.  The Second Commitment of the Law™ is “Do Not Let Your Own Garbage Truck Pass You By (Don’t Dump on Yourself). This is what I become after my diagnoses and I am glad that I came out of that. We all know the emotional toll that chronic illness takes, but we eventually find acceptance and when do, we stop dumping on ourselves.  In Chapter Eight, David discusses how we can all live “the words.” He introduces us to Athan Ray who suffers from what doctors believe is cerebral lymphomatoid granulomatosis.  He has had several seizures and doctors keep finding lesions on his brain, and most recently, they found three, which disappeared on their own.  Athan is a husband and father and he wife lives his fear that the next seizure will end his life but Athan lives for the moment, reminds himself what he is thankful for, and he has accepted the reality that his life.

He says:

I know that it is just as easy to create your own garbage as it is for someone to dump on you.  So, I visualize myself getting better.

He adds:

The Law helps me to cope when I am angry, fearful, anxious, sad, and depressed, to name some of the emotions I feel at times. I remind myself that I am not a Garbage Truck.  I don’t need all those negative emotions piling up inside of me. They don’t serve any purpose.  When I let the garbage trucks pass by, I am not weighed down by the things that don’t help me.

Athan is someone who appreciates life and he knows that “a long life cannot be guaranteed.”   Our time here on Earth is uncertain and so we need to live life to the fullest.  To do that, we should not accept or dump garbage. There is not much we can control when it comes to living with chronic illness but not accepting or dumping garbage – that we can control.

There are eight commitments to following and living the law of the garbage truck.  David’s book is about how to live life fully through those commitments and how to have the best possible life by not letting garbage trucks dump on us and not being garbage trucks.  So, let us take the pledge together.

The Giveaway

For more information on David, visit his blog.

You can purchase The Law of the Garbage Truck™ thorough a variety of retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

One lucky reader of this blog will receive a copy of The Law of the Garbage Truck™.  All you have to do is give me an example of how you can implement the Law™ in your own life.  The winner will be picked with a random number generator.  The giveaway ends Monday, November 15, 2010 at 11:59 and I will pick the winner the following day. Don’t forget to leave an email address so I have a way of contacting you.  This giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada only.

***I was not paid for this review.  I received a copy of David’s book for my review from the publisher. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me. Thank you David and Sterling Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to review The Law of The Garbage Truck.

10 thoughts on “The Law of the Garbage Truck Review and Giveaway

  1. One thing I do is refuse to hold a grudge. Way too many people do that and I’ve seen that “garbage” consume some of my friends.

  2. What a neat concept! I think we could all use a little less garbage in our lives. I’ve noticed that my RA gets worse when there is any sort of conflict in my life. I tend to take things a little too personally and am a people pleaser. This is something I have had to work on HARD this past year. I am getting better but still find myself analyzing “garbage” thrown my way instead of tossing it out. Thanks, I will look into this book!

  3. Being executor for my mom’s estate, there has been a lot of garbage lately. I need to straighten everyone out without losing myself.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  4. Oh boy would I love to read this book! I work with a very nasty toxic one, maybe reading this will help me understand why, and how to deal with the situation.

  5. Wow, this couldn’t be more true! I don’t need the book, please don’t enter me… hopefully someone will win that needs it! I just wanted to say hi..and GREAT review!

  6. I need this book BADLY! My husband and I have been going through several months of stressful garbage-dumping from his family, and I seem to be missing the ability to let it go. I’ve been taking on the garbage and carrying it around with me, and in the meantime, of course, my health is getting worse and worse. I would love to learn to break this cycle!


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