In the wee hours a few months back, I was groggily checking out of my San Jose hotel room after a few days of intensive client work. My summoned cab driver greeted me with a smile and took my bags to the car. His nearly edentulous face (my Endodontist husband would be proud!) looked haggard and worn. I warily looked at him and the tired cab, and thought very few positive thoughts; most involved assumptions about his financial, intellectual, and emotional well being. This would be a ride I’d quickly forget, I posited to myself. How very wrong I was!
We began with some pleasant conversation (I do try to engage with my cab driver as a rule), which turned into fantastic intercourse about love, marriage, and making relationships a priority. I learned that Jose has been married for over 30 years to a woman with whom he is madly in love, and he is the proud father of two grown, successful daughters. He provided me insights about keeping love alive (“if each person gives 110 percent of their attention to meeting their spouse’s needs, how happy both will be”) and encouraged me and my husband to practice his trick of leaving little love notes all over the place, including on the bathroom mirror. (I was able to proudly share that we do this regularly, showed him the two in my purse from Dave for this trip, and confessed that the toothpaste is regularly utilized for bathroom mirror notes in our house.) He encouraged me to look up the healing properties of kissing (see below). We talked about other elements of love, families, and children, and his perspective challenged me to think differently about some of my assumptions. When we parted company thirty minutes later, he smiled that toothless grin again, and wished me much health, happiness and, of course, a lifetime of love.
As I walked into the SJC airport, I found myself invigorated, inspired. I began thinking of the wisdom Jose’s lifetime of love imparted. I found myself reflecting on other cab drivers who made their mark: the man in Ft. Lauderdale who by freak coincidence lost his wife and two daughters in a Haitian hurricane when they were back visiting family, and his determination to build a strong quality of life for his remaining children; the young mother in Chattanooga, 7 months’ pregnant who recently lost her husband and her full time job, who greeted each customer with a big smile on her face and an “It’s a good day, y’all”….the list goes on and on. Everyday people doing everyday things but living inspiring lives, if only we take the time to learn about them.
Today I am reminded that everyone has a story to tell, a bit of wisdom to impart, some happiness to share, if we only take the time to engage them. I challenge you today to unglue yourself from your smart phone, get up from your desk or your email, and go learn something new from someone around you. What – and who – may just surprise you!
Feel free to share what you learn here, to metastasize the inspiration!