One St. Helena: You Are Not Entitled _lowres

Jasper Knighten

“Keep our lovely city beautiful. Signed, residents of Some Town, USA. Voted cleanest city three years in a row.”

We have all been welcomed to some town somewhere in America by this bold proclamation. I am sure, if you are like me, you immediately begin to check for trash. Every side street, sidewalk and median was stripped up and down to find any hint of trash. No one likes trash. No one likes the sight of an abandoned area littered with trash. It signals of lack of pride and demoralizes the local citizens.

What actually categorizes something as trash? Trash is simply an unwanted item that is discarded because it is deemed not worthy of use anymore.

Often, if you look closely on trash day, many of the items pushed to the curb are not trash.

I have passed countless driveways during the past few years in amazement. Many families have discarded seemly good pieces of furniture and other valuables. But again, trash is simply an item that has been deemed not worthy of use anymore.

Just as families throw out trash each week, we are currently throwing away our lives. We are discarding talents, dreams and relationships, all because we have deemed them not worthy of use anymore. Our lives are full of trash, or so we think. Many of the gifts, relationships and goals we deem unworthy of our attention deserve our attention. Life is too short to neglect God-given talent and ability all because we are too nearsighted to see the butterfly in the caterpillar.

I am guilty; we all are guilty of neglecting certain factions of life. Many of us have buried relationships and dreams, all because we did not seem to have room for them in our lives. We saw no use for them and as a result made a decision to push them to the curb and move on. Life is about perspective. It all depends on your viewpoint.

I want to challenge you as you read this to pick up whatever it is in your life that you have deemed as trash and not worthy of your time and attention. Your trash may be a broken marriage or an old friendship that is seemingly beyond repair. Your trash may be digging up the courage to go after your lifelong dream. Yes, the critics and negative people in your life may have stopped you before, but now is the time to block out the negativity and move ahead with a determination like never before.

There is value in so-called “trash.” If there was no value in trash, Waste Management and Allied would not exist. It is time to grow your perspective. Elevate your thinking. Learn to develop thick skin. You are going to need it because you are about to start picking up trash.

Pick up the trash of your life. You deemed it unfit for use once, but do not make the same mistake twice. Your destiny is lying in your trash. Your financial freedom is lying in your trash. So start picking it up.

Make the avenues, parkways, freeways, lanes, roads, bridges, canals, riverbanks and shores of your life beautiful again. So when someone observes your life, they can see a sign that clearly reads, “I am on a mission. I am a professional at being me. Enjoy the view.” I believe those words on the sign are destined to describe you. But the choice is yours.

What will you choose?

Contact Jasper Knighten at