I was talking with a friend from one of my Landmark Education courses. We were talking about another course that we both took, but 6 years apart. In this conversation I discovered some things had changed in the course over the years.
He told me that once his homework for this particular course was to always leave public bathrooms cleaner than you found them. When he said this my first thought was “I would have never even thought of such a thing”. Then my next thought was “Why the hell would I want to do that and what would I get from cleaning some nasty toilets at the Happy gas station on Glenwood?
As much as I had no desire to clean the toilets in a public restrooms. I don’t even enjoy cleaning the one I use at home,it just seems nasty to me. There was still something about this idea of cleaning a public toilet that intrigued me, so I knew that I had to do it. I wanted to know what I would learn from leaving public restrooms cleaner than I found them.
So I started doing it the next week. The first thing I noticed was that I felt weird doing this for some reason. Maybe that’s why people seemed to be looking at my like I was weird. No, I think they really did find this behavior strange. People would just stop and watch me for a few seconds trying to figure out what I was doing. They couldn’t get why a person would clean a public restroom, so they were looking for the reason behind my actions.
After I did it a few times it didnt feel so weird, it actually started to feel good. I felt like I was doing the right thing. I felt like I was being responsible. I felt like I was making a difference for someone else. I knew that the next several patrons of this bathroom will have a better experience because of my actions.
It also showed me how simple it is to make a change that makes a difference in the lives of others. It showed me how simple it is to generate love in the world. It made me feel like a leader. It made me see that I could be doing so much more. The biggest thing I got from this was the shift that came from going from complaining about a problem to doing something about the problem. That was a huge paradigm shift for me.
When I was complain about the lack if cleanliness I felt agitated, disgusted and nervous about catching a staff infection in this bathroom. When I starting actually doing something about the problem I was no longer complaining, because I was working on the problem. When you commit to being 100% responsible for everything in your life, your have access to 100% of your power.
Remember the expression “With great power, comes great responsibility”? Which means responsibility and power go together. Which means you get get power by being responsible. Even in something so menial and gross as cleaning a public bathroom.
I challenge you to try it over the next two weeks. The worst thing that could happen is that you suffer a few stares, possibly meet another weirdo or we just end up with clean bathrooms everywhere.