Max poops a lot. I mean, I guess we all do, but since I am witness to almost all his poops it seems like more than necessary.
And not only am I present for them, but I also have to deal with them. Since I live in an apartment, I cannot just let him out back. I have to pick up every one of Max’s poops.
And Max poops a lot.
There is nothing dignified about this process. I have tried my hardest to think of ways to make it sexy, and this is the best I’ve got:
Nevermind the fact that I am dealing with dog poop, but I also often fumble around trying to open the little bag, have to bend down to the ground while an eager dog is ready to move on to the next exciting thing and tries to pull me over, and then find a way to tie up the little bag without getting a whiff of what’s inside or making a mess.
And then I usually have to carry it quite a distance because Max always seems to find the one spot of ground that is furthest from any other trashcan.
It’s hard work having opposable thumbs and caring about the cleanliness of a neighborhood.
And while I am often not grateful for having to participate in this process, there is something unbelievably humbling about picking up another being’s poop.
I have learned that sometimes my role in life is to clean up after people. It is an expression of loving service to clean up other people’s crap (literally or figuratively). And while it is by no means a fun or glamorous job, it keeps my ego from getting too big.
Plus, I have realized in cleaning up Max’s waste that there are many wonderful, humble people that come along behind me and clean up my crap – those people who walk around in the background of my life tying up loose ends, dealing with my emotional or physical messes, and those who make my world a nicer, cleaner, better place to live.
I don’t mean to imply that there is value in debasing oneself or that some people deserve nothing better than to clean up the waste of others. But I do know that I have found it incredibly valuable to perform the humiliating act of cleaning up after Max.
It has taught me that I am not the center of the world. It has taught me that I am not so important as to be exempt from certain less desirable duties.
But most importantly, it has taught me the value of humble service. It has taught me that I can show love by giving of myself to perform the most menial tasks for others. It has taught me that I can cut the crap of self-importance, while remaining confident in my self-worth as one who can serve others humbly.
So thank you Max for teaching me that I am no better than one who picks up your poop, but that I don’t have to be ashamed about it. And thank you for teaching me that I can show heartfelt love through the humble service of such acts.