Here’s how it happened, on the 10 minute Uber ride from the hotel to the airport.
Kenneth picked me up and as usual when I take an Uber, we struck up some conversation. Why waste 10 minutes in a foreign country in silence rather than learning something?
We exchanged pleasantries and I told him I had been in South Africa only 2 nights, but had arrived after spending 3 weeks in Mozambique. He was intrigued – because why would you spend 3 weeks in Mozambique? I explained that I was volunteering with All Hands and Hearts building schools in rural areas which were destroyed in the cyclone last year. He asked me why I would take such work. I said I don’t get paid, I quit my “regular” job and now travel and volunteer because I enjoy helping others.
Then the thoughtful pause…
“So, you will never be rich?”
“No. Well, maybe. I don’t know. I feel rich in my heart.”
This prompted an amazing conversation about how we view possessions vs. experiences. How we can define “rich” in so many ways. How society places value on things when that may not actually be the be-all end-all goal. How people are really just people no matter their life circumstances – we have more in common than we realize. He shared words of wisdom passed down from his father. I did too. We enjoyed a special moment.
Yes, it this happened over only 5 minutes and it was with an Uber driver that I will never meet again. But these are the conversations that color our perspective and cause us to reflect, become better people, appreciate things in a way which we might not otherwise. We are not so different. Who’s to say who is born into privilege vs poverty. It’s not what we were given, it’s what we make of it.
So I can ask you – are you rich? Life is too short, don’t miss out on all that it has to offer.