“Kids these days…”

There are clichés about what people claim to learn from taxi drivers. I’m not sure exactly what they are, but it’s a thing. Many factors revolve around people’s want to discuss this phenomenon. The personalities. The unsolicited advice that seems to come as a random blessing. How the cabby therapy session changed your mood or cognitive schema.

While I am hesitant to attribute these experiences to a greater universal power, I would instead ask that we be open to each as a teaching moment.

My roommate Ashley and I were out last evening, riding Uber pool. Ashley was up front and I in the back. Two other women were dropped off previously.

After a few city blocks of silence the man said, “Kids these days…You know, when I was younger I was pretty crazy. But I wasn’t that crazy.” U Street on Saturday night can get pretty sloppy—which is an understatement.

His youngest daughter is 26. He said he wasn’t one of those “dictator parents” that forbid their children to do anything. He had good communication with them, trusted that they would be honest about their behavior at night, or if they needed help. Perhaps he was hoping that we were listening like his daughter does.

What work do we do?

“Communications and marketing,” I said.

“You know, it’s funny, a lot of people don’t know how to communicate,” he said.

“It’s so true. Even really intelligent people,” I said.

While U Street bustled with honks, inebriated pedestrians, and a of slur neon lights, the man drove smooth and calm. As we arrived closer to our destination he said that he had one piece of advice for us.

“Any relationship you have in life, whether professional or private, make sure that it contains Trust, Respect, and Enthusiasm. If you don’t trust someone, you will not respect them. If you don’t respect them, I’m sure there will be bad communication.”

We often forget about our luxury of choice. We are gatekeepers to our own happiness. We choose who we maintain relationships with in our lives, and how we go about them.

Does your relationship with a person, family, friend make you enthusiastic? Why or why not?

If not, what can you do to change that? We forget too, that peacefully bowing out is also an option.

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