Friendly face #sol16

I think I have one of those friendly faces. You know, the kind of face that strangers want to talk to.

Take last week, for example: I had a meeting in Boston and split an Uber back to the north side of the river with a colleague. On the way to her house, we chatted in the backseat about our project, family, her cooking class. Then she exited the car, and I gave the driver my address. It would take 10-15 minutes to get to my house, depending on traffic.

During those 10-15 minutes, I learned my driver, Carmeleau, was from Haiti. He had three children, two boys and a girl, and a baby on the way. He owned the Prius he was driving, plus a tow truck and a sports car. He made five figures a month driving for Uber. He showed me pictures of his kids and his cars on his phone at a stoplight. When I mentioned that I also had a toddler, he asked me questions about my son, and I told him about my Haitian students and how I never remembered any of the words they taught me. When we pulled up to my building, he taught me how to say goodbye in Haitian Creole, laughing that I needed to make sure I remembered it!

I will probably never see Carmeleau again, but I lost nothing by being friendly. By listening, by engaging in conversation, by talking to someone different than me — if anything, in that brief moment I gained a temporary friend. I saw humanity. I connected.

What would happen if more people opened up and accepted “friendly”?

slice of life

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5 thoughts on “Friendly face #sol16

  1. You have a friendly face, it’s true. But more than that, you have an open, compassionate, and engaged heart. I always smile when I see you.
    Five figures a month driving Uber? He must give rides 24/7! Amazing!

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  2. it is fun to have these conversations with strangers who you will never see again. But that five figures a month? sounds hard to believe unless he never sleeps.

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    1. Right? He told me that my husband would make more money as an Uber driver than a teacher, and threw that figure out to convince me. Either he doesn’t know how much a teacher makes, or he was trying to impress me, or….?

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