Greatness when no one is watching.

A few days ago was recycling day on our street. We put the recycling out at night for a 7am pickup. Needless to say most people are not up and out before the pickup. Every few recycling days over the past couple years (at least every few that i’ve noticed), a man comes down the street with a shopping cart picking out the glass bottles (wine and beer) from the recycling. I’ve never really paid attention to him, figuring he needs the money he’ll get from turning them in and he’s really dedicated.

But the last recycling morning was after a major storm. So that morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard him coming down the street, and just looked out the window in curiosity. (Side note: shopping carts coming down a street is really not a stealth move. They are loud. Really loud.) I saw, looking out, that our neighbour’s garbage/recycling had tipped over and was spilled along the gutter by the rain and wind.

I watched as the shopping cart guy came to their driveway, took a glass bottle from the recycling bin for his cart, then proceeded to pick up all their recycling that was strewn about, and put it all back in the container which he put upright. It took about 45 seconds to do. 45 seconds that i’m assuming other people walked by on their morning walks and ignored. This guy did it with no thought, no reason and no reward (minus a found bottle).

Would you take 45 seconds to be great when no one was watching, and the result was doing something nice that no one will ever know?

Here’s my cheers to this guy, and the simple, yet great, thing that no one would even know he did. Till now.

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