If it ain’t yours, don’t carry it.
Don’t pick it up. Don’t offer to help. Don’t open up your bag and let someone else drop it right in there.
Because if it ain’t yours to carry, you don’t need to carry it.
But what about the stuff that others can’t carry? You know — the things they’ve picked up along the way. The extras and the afflictions and the little nonconformities that make it hard for them. If you know their story, it makes it hella hard not to carry something for someone else.
Whatever it may be.
But you can’t.
You’re supposed to be here, but you’re not here to carry what’s not yours.
Pretend I’m coming at you like an angry mama who found her toddler crawling on the floor of a public restroom, and that toddler also happened to pick up several things and shove them in her mouth.
NO NO NO, I say to you.
Don’t pick that up. Don’t put it in your mouth. Leave it there, it’s yucky.
Because if it ain’t yours, don’t carry it.Because if it ain't yours, don't carry it. Click To Tweet
(This is as much a reminder for me as it is for you, you know.)
(I’m sure you know.)
(If you’re here, you know.)
But what about when, you ask, brow furrowed in consternation, what about when someone leaves what’s theirs with you? Then, are you not obligated to carry it?
If some well meaning asshole approaches you with with what belongs to them, and drops it at your feet, that is exactly where it stays. You don’t pick that up, and you sure as hell don’t carry it. And if they look at you expectantly and wonder why you ain’t carrying it, you don’t have to explain shit, because it’s not yours.
If they come back later and ask if you’ve got it, remind them that you don’t carry it if it ain’t yours, and they can go pick it up just where they left it.
The secret is that you’ll gladly carry for some. Some truly deserve it. Those people who are inextricably linked to you by a force that pulls and magnetic coincidence — you’ll carry what belongs to them because you know they’ll carry what belongs to you.
But here’s the rub: You can’t carry theirs if you’re carrying someone else’s. And just imagine how foolish you’ll feel when you realize you’ve been schlepping what’s not yours to carry when you could’ve carried something better all along.
But that’s the thing. If it ain’t yours, don’t carry it. And if you’re going to carry it, best outline the carrier-carryee relationship upfront. And honestly, let them know your policy on carrying what’s not yours.
Oh, and make sure you uphold that policy.