She was my first ride on Saturday morning. People ask me if I have any idea where I am taking people when I am ‘dinged’, the answer is: Nope. When I arrive to pick up a passenger the app tells me where we are going, This is to keep drivers from ‘cherry picking’. That morning Denver International Airport appeared as her destination, which for a Lyft driver Is like getting three bars on a Blackhawk slot machine. The reason I like DIA rides is two-fold. 1. They pay well and 2. Often in a 38 minute ride you actually have an extended conversation in the micro space of the car. I love road trips for that reason: it creates opportunities for conversation that is lacking in the midst of the cacophony of our overstimulated and undernourished post-modern lives. Her countenance was warm and engaging. “I am headed to Los Angeles to be with a friend who is having a radical mastectomy” she informed me. “You are a friend for sure. When you fly into LAX wave at my daughter Stephanie as you pass over Marina del Rey.” She laughed and our conversation was off and running.
When asked where she works she answered, “I am a college professor.” My assumption was that she teaches here in Colorado. “Where do you teach?” I asked and she named a most prestigious Ivy League University. I then asked her what she teaches and she said, “Business ethics”. I sensed that I was in for a very interesting ride and was not disappointed. “So, I am curious – what is the base from which you build your ethics?” “We begin with the classics; Plato, Aristotle, Socrates to mention a few.” (Name dropper-ha) “I suspect that it all comes down to “Do unto others as you have them do unto you” I commented. “Well, I take it one step further, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto your children’.” I paused as I thought about what I had just heard. “Wow, I love that! Might I add—grandchildren?” “Absolutely ” she said, and then, “Tell me about your kids and grandkids.” We began sharing about our kids, which always puts a smile in my heart.
I had time to think even more about her expansion of the Golden Rule. This was one of those epiphanies that will change the way I think forever. “How will what I do, what we do, affect my Kids and Grandkids? How do I want others to treat those I love, from the depths of my heart?” I have come to understand that the questions we are willing to ask might be more important than the answers we think we have.
The ride went very fast. I had just spent half an hour with a very bright woman but more impressive was that her spirit was contagious. We said goodbye and wished each other well. She asked me to pray for her friend Patty. I do. Seven minutes later I picked up a young couple at an airport hotel. They were headed to an IHOP near old Stapleton. They had flown in from Indiana the night before and had never been to Colorado. I got to be with them when we hit the crown of the hill on Pena Blvd. and viewed the Rocky Mountains for the first time. “Oh My God, look at that Honey!!!” “Look up there to your right, that is Wyoming, the next big mountain is Long’s Peak, then Mt. Evans, and finally Pike’s Peak. They are all 14ers”. I shared. “What’s a 14er?” she queried. “It’s over 14,000 feet high” I replied. “Holy Moly, that’s almost three miles high. You are lucky to see one mile down the road in Indiana.”
Epiphanies are where you find them!!!
Onward and Upward,