Ripples #1245: Poop Scooping


I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bull [poop].
-Elizabeth Gilbert, shared by Pete in Ft. Myers, FL via this Tweet and follow up Facebook Post


Getting your [poop] together requires a level of honesty you can’t even imagine. There’s nothing easy about realizing you’re the one that’s been holding you back this whole time.
-Alexi Panos, shared by Katie in Oshkosh, WI


Both of today’s quotes have been sitting at the top of the finalist list for future rippling for quite some time. I had been a little shy about using them because the actual quotes both contained the s-bomb, which for some of our readers is a really (wait for it) stinky word. But then I realized that with a little tweak I could make them a lot less sh*tty even if they’d still be a little poopy.

This reminded me of a poopy thing that used to happen a lot for me: I would be enjoying a perfectly lovely stroll in my neighborhood…until encountering some dog poop on the sidewalk. YUCK! This would upset me because everyone knows that dog walkers are supposed to scoop up their dog’s doo doo. If I returned the next day and it was still there, I’d get upset all over again. On occasion this could stretch into days and days (even WEEKS) of, “How RUDE that this doogie doo is still here!”

I’d eventually have the thought that maybe I should just remove it myself. Part of me would resist this at first because hey: it’s not my job to scoop up someone else’s doggie doo. But another part of me recognized that since I was the one having a really poopy reaction, it might be useful to take responsibility and do some internal “mental poop scooping.”

It turns out there are quite a few options for taking matters into my own hands, and most of them don’t require literally holding dog poop in my hands: I could practice ignoring it; I could choose to walk a different way; I could explore mental strategies that might downgrade my level of upset or simply distract myself until something else occupies my attention. There’s even the option of kicking it off the sidewalk, or getting back in the habit of walking around with some dog poop bags like I did for the decade when my trusty canine sideckick Grendel was part of my life.

I find it perfectly reasonable to expect neighbors to do their part, and I also think it’s okay to get a little annoyed when they don’t. More importantly, though: I believe the world gets a little better each time we embrace opportunities to clean it up a little, whether that is inside (in our minds), outside (on the sidewalk), or wherever there’s some poop that needs to be scooped.

How can you do some scooping this week?

P.S. If cursing doesn’t trouble you, you may enjoy learning about how two naughty words inadvertently (and without my knowledge) became The Most Famous Thing Uncle Paul Ever Said. Oh, and writing out THAT story reminded me of The Time I Cursed My Way to Utah and Lived to Love It.

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