Garbage Day

National Football League quarterback Kirk Cousins is leaving the Minnesota Vikings after signing a contract with the Atlanta Falcons for 4-years and $180 million dollars with $100 million of it guaranteed. It’s quite a contract. He had stated earlier in the year that the money wasn’t important to him, he had enough money. I mistook him to mean he possessed a loyalty to the team and the players.

Loyalty, like integrity, is a thing of the past. I realized the slow death of these outdated values almost thirty years ago when the garbage removal company called and sent threatening letters to me about a nonexistent garbage bin after I sold my home in Plymouth, Minnesota. At that time, garbage removal was done by private contractors. We and many of our neighbors contracted with Randy’s Sanitation. A competitor offered the neighborhood 3 weeks of free garbage removal along with a new blue garbage bin that rolled to the curb. My neighbors all took the bait and the neighborhood was soon littered with shiny new bins on garbage day. Now Randy’s was a family-owned business who had given us excellent service, so I remained loyal to them and learned to live with my old, beat-up, store-bought bin that I dragged to the end of the driveway come rain, snow or dark of night.

Time passed and Randy’s decided to fight back and wooed some of my neighbors back with their own shiny brown garbage bins that rolled to the curb. Since I was already a customer, the new bin was never offered to me. This didn’t bother me, but it took far too long to convince Randy’s that I wasn’t moving away with one of their promotional bins, I had simply been a loyal and clearly unappreciated customer.

Maybe loyalty just isn’t sexy when compared to the seven deadly sins. Lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy, pride and greed are even enjoyable to say. You can really sink your teeth into enunciating them versus the drab loyalty and integrity. So, I understand Cousins forfeiting loyalty and giving into greed. It’s so very tempting.


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