That Lyft driver who picked you up this morning has a certain energy to her. She wears the grey hairs on her head with confidence, and by the look of her hands on the steering wheel, she enjoys a combination of sterling silver and turquoise. You make a comment about her great taste in jewelry and in return she gracefully accepts the compliment with a humbled thank you. She asks about your day and within minutes of conversation, she shares with you a personal story about her daughter.
“My daughter is graduating law school soon,” she says, still baffled at the account that she’s witnessed her little girl become such a beautiful thriving woman.
As she takes you down memory lane, she reminisces on her favorite memories with her daughter from infancy to her teenage years. She continues to highlight the highs and lows of her growing successes, but as the abbreviated timeline comes to an end, she mentions how she hasn’t spoke with her daughter since a falling out that happened a few years ago. She mutters softly to herself that she feels responsible. You can hear the subtle sadness in her voice that still resonates with you to this day. But despite the circumstance, you see the aged creases in her sparkling hazel eyes smile back at you through the rearview mirror.
Quickly changing the subject before the conversation gets too emotional, she gives you some motherly wisdom:
“Accept the fact that your parents are just people, that they too are only human and are doing the best they know how at living.”
She encourages you to not be so harsh on your parents and as a mother she is also adjusting with seeing her daughter as a grown adult busy with her own life.
In the short duration of a Lyft ride, you two share a moment of genuine honesty and through that vulnerability, you’ve become a slightly changed person.
As you arrive at your destination you thank her for the wisdom and you both go about your day.
(Further Reading: Sometimes Your Uber Driver Can Also Be Your Therapist)
But sometimes we miss these profound moments of human connection because we are immersed in the intricacy of our own lives.
We forget to put our phones down. We forget to listen. And we forget to be present.
We forget to pause and realize that we are all living complex lives brimming with our own stories of personal struggles & triumphs.
We end up treating drivers as drivers, employees as employees, and strangers as just strangers.
And when we lose touch with that sense of understanding and human connection, we also lose touch with our sense of empathy--a powerful insight in understanding the emotions and complexities of the human existence.
Through listening, feeling deeply, and exposing ourselves to different perspectives and ways of living, we can better understand others, ourselves, but most importantly, our intrinsic source of happiness.
Take this moment to remind yourself to be present and conscious in your next conversation because underneath all the small talk and superficial conversation, there is a profound story to be shared.
In some moments, we’re meant to speak things into existence while, in other moments, we’re meant to #listenforachange.