As human beings we have a unique ability to connect with each other in ways that can be more powerful than any other force. We’ve cured disease, fed the hungry, ended wars and accomplished the unimaginable. We hold the ability to connect with one another, to communicate and compromise. We should cherish each other and nurture our relationships. I always say that cab drivers are among my most favorite people. I have to say that I’ve never met a cab driver that has not completely intrigued me. Their job is to get human beings from one point to another and sometimes to talk to them in the process if they are lucky. Cab drivers know humanity in its most beautiful and ugly form and yet they almost always seem happy to see you. Sure, they have their bad days, after all they are human too, but mostly they just want to know your story. Maybe even more to the point, you want to tell your story. No matter who you are, when someone shows a genuine interest in you, that makes you feel good. You want to talk about the cutest ever thing your 2 year old did or how you’re worried you may lose your job. I think that is why Facebook has become so popular. It’s an opportunity every day for you to get up, get in your virtual cab and tell your story to all your cabby’s, who just happen to also be your friends and family in this case.
In some ways it’s a wonderful gift. We are able to keep up with friends and family near and far at just the click of a button. We get to share our stories every day right down to what we are eating for dinner that night. It’s truly feeding our basic need to be seen and heard, but maybe in the process we have turned into cannibals, using each other as prey. Somewhere along the line, we decided that because the cabby had put up the glass wall, in this case the internet, between us we could suddenly begin to judge him. We could suddenly start making giant signs on poster board and hanging them out the window of the cab with arrows pointing to him saying “I’m judging this person, and this is what I think of him”. To make matters worse, all of our friends who love and trust us are driving along the cab honking their horns and yelling “YES, JUDGE THAT PERSON I HAVE NEVER MET! JUDGE THAT SITUATIION I AM NOT A PART OF! I AM 100% BEHIND YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MY FRIEND AND I AM ON BOARD NO MATTER WHAT I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!” We would never do that in “real” life, but for some reason we feel it is OK to display this for all the world to see when we get to hide behind a screen. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It needs to stop.
I’m nowhere near perfect myself. I get frustrated and upset and I get pissed off and want to call people names. This is part of the gift and curse of emotions that we have been given. Learn to master your emotions and you will truly be enlightened. However, in the process of learning to control them, it doesn’t give you the right to let them control you. Before you decide it’s your right and emotional need to slander or stand on your Facebook soup box, you need only to ask yourself a few questions. 1.) Will this hurt someone? 2.) Is this helping someone? 3.) Am I merely looking for affirmation that I am right? I think the last one is the most important. Most of the time we are so caught up with being right, we forget to be loving. If you’re going to take a stand and attempt to rally people behind you. At least really them behind something that will project love, laughter and positive energy into the world. The point of Facebook was to get us connected, to each other, to the world, to ourselves. Don’t miss the point and use it to sabotage yourself or others. Step away from the computer, take a deep breath and move on. Be gentle with your cab driver, he is your ego. He is the one driving you to tell your story, to need to be heard, to need to be in control. Be gentle with your cab ego, ask him to slow down and take the long way home.
“Jumping to conclusions is like jumping in puddles, while it might be dramatically fun at the start, you just end up looking silly and dirty. Let’s leave that to the children.” – Tiffany Grace