As I put one foot in front of the other on my morning run I spotted him in the distance. He was hard to miss with that bright yellow shirt. From far away I did not give him much thought but as I got closer I was intrigued. He was not who I thought him to be. Rather he was much younger, between 11-14 years of age. He was riding along with who I guessed to be his Father. His hands clung to the rail on the side of the truck as his Dad jumped off and picked up the trash cans. It made me smile thinking how he was witnessing how hard his dad worked.
I turned the corner and the thought of him left my mind until we crossed paths again. I watched from afar as he jumped off the truck, grabbed the trash, and threw it in. He was right there in it and he was working hard. Filled with enthusiasm he ran a few cans ahead of the truck pulling out the bags of trash and running with them to the next can. He then waited on the sidewalk for the truck to catch up with him and when it did he ran to throw them in.
As I passed him he smiled and said hello. I told him he was doing a great job and I kept on running.
That moment stayed with me for the rest of the day. This brief interaction between me and this child left me feeling inspired and happy. He was throwing that trash away with so much pride and enthusiasm my heart swelled. He was doing something maybe not a lot of people would choose as a job, and he was smiling.
He was doing a great job, but the other two guys that were with him were also doing a great job. They were showing up day in and day out and keeping things clean. If we didn't have them doing the job they do things would be a lot different.
I wondered if anyone ever told them they were doing a great job. They deserve to hear it just as much as that little boy in the bright yellow shirt. These men work hard and I am so grateful for the work they do. This thought of saying thank you to them came to me long after I had passed them but has stayed with me and next time I see them I am going to be sure to stop, say thank you, and let them know they are doing a great job.