Don’t pick up more than you can carry

My friend Patty and I were hiking in Utah’s beautiful Wasatch mountains when we stumbled upon a large pile of trash–papers, cans, wadded up clothing lying in the brush. We filled two large bags and started to carry them down the steep slope, stopping every so often to set them down and rest. When we reached the top of a very steep section of trail, Patty decided she was done. Swinging the bag in a circle, she stretched her arm up to the sky and flung it with all of her strength. We watched open-mouthed as the bag sailed down the slope and landed with a thud, fortunately still intact. We realized it was time to change our carrying strategy.

We tied the heavy bags onto a hiking stick, then rested the stick on our left shoulders and resolutely began our long march to the parking lot, still more than a mile away. After that experience, we resolved to never again carry out more than we could manage without losing our tempers.

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