#64 – It’s Time to Wake Up to Our Stories

It’s time for each of us to wake up to the untold stories that exist all around us every single day.
Day #64 of Sanity via Tim McDonald

As my Lyft driver picked me up, I noticed he had the front passenger seat moved up to allow more room in the back seat. If that wasn’t enough of a hint for me, he pulled up to where I was standing to align the rear door with me. I took the clue and entered the back door to sit behind him.

It was a clean car and well kept. As a driver should, he asked me my name to confirm he was picking up the correct passenger and then confirmed my destination.

It was early morning on a school day. Since we live right next to an elementary and middle school, I told him a quicker way to get out of our neighborhood than the navigation would. He thanked me and told me how much he appreciated a simple tip like that. We proceeded to talk about the area, traffic and then it turned to ride sharing services and how they are making an impact on preventing drunk driving.

I’m not quite sure how he brought up to topic but he mentioned something about loving to fly. I asked if he was a pilot. He told me yes and since most of the conversation was about ride sharing, I told him about a friend of mine’s company who was connecting people with rides on private airplanes. In half hearted disbelieve his excitement was obvious. “I’ve been waiting for someone to come up with this!” He asked how it worked and knew some of the legal implications that have prevented it from happening to his knowledge so far. I told him I wasn’t aware of all the details but would be happy to get him the company name and provide their website and tell him who the founder was.

As I was looking up the information, he began to tell me how he used to do Angel Flights, working with a nonprofit that arranges air transportation for patients in need. He would fly children and their families for medical care at Shriner’s Hospitals. I knew this was a person who cared about others. He proceeded to give me his cell phone number (if you didn’t know, all Uber and Lyft drivers don’t actually have the phone number you call). I sent him the link to the website and gave him my friend Rod’s name as the founder of OpenAirplane.

As he dropped me off at my destination, I stopped and thought. How many times are we right next to someone who has a story, talent, passion or dream that you know of someone, something or some place that you can share with them? As humans, it’s natural for us to want to help each other, care for each other. When we stay silent and don’t connect with those around us, it prevents us for doing what comes natural. Spark a conversation with the person next to you on a plane, bus or your driver when you order and take a ride sharing service. You never know the story you will hear and how you may be able to bring a little joy into someone’s life just by listening. It’s an even greater gift if you listen, understand their needs, and then are able to connect them with something you know that may be able to help them. Life is a gift that lies in the opportunities all around us.

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Welcome to 2017 where we have 365 days to play, create and connect.

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