Photo borrowed from: https://www.monsooncup.com.my Photo borrowed from: https://astanatimes.com
We cannot let convenience disconnect us. Only a decade in existence, applications like Uber and Grab, or Ola Cabs and Didi Chuxing in India and China, allow for ease of travel. Some even now offer the opportunity to order food and deliver groceries to your door. Yet, with such efficiency, it is however possible to default and adopt a more Miranda Rights experience. You have the right to remain silent. Yes, it is possible to order, confirm, chat, and pay without a single omit verbal exchange with the driver. A spendy fare, the erasure of humanization. The loss of person-to-person encounters, a fading of life’s colors. Harrowing stories untold. Where mere anecdotes not only revealed beauty, but often were enough to reignited hope. Now, passengers and driver sometimes sit in silence. Non-experiences much like what we have when we pass through a toll booth. The end instead of the means. The destination everything.
Yet, we can have efficiency and humanization. Curiosity and a few questions are a start. Not long ago I remember how I learned form a driver about not only how large the Ethiopian population was in the greater Denver area, but the greater context of why. I also remember how my Armenian driver in New York City made most of his money from remotely mining Bitcoin on servers in Iceland. And these were just two rides. Remember, everyone has a story is at the crux. Simply put, are we interested?
An icon today who represents all things slow, is the passionate and wise, National Geographic fellow, Paul Salopek. Walking the earth, his joy is in meeting people. As he listens to stories of the people he meets, they surely are interested in his. Not every day do you meet someone walking 21,000 miles and in their 8th year of putting one foot in front of the other!