However, the most impactful conversations, most raw stories, and most emotionally moving and empowering stories are those of these people themselves. I am learning to listen better, not just because my mentors kick my ass to do so, but because these stories, these personal truths are so profound, that there’s nothing else one can do but hear them without missing a beat.
A driver telling me how his wife died 8 months ago because she didn’t get good treatment in a hospital, doesn’t just give me the shocking reality of the medical system in the country.My heart breaks as I say sorry to the man for his loss and he responds with a gentle, sad smile, trying to make light of what he has been through:
Bhagwan Ki Ichchha ke aage kisi ki nahi chalti madam. Wo bahut achchhi thi, bahut sundar bhi thee , shukar hai mera beta uske jaisa lagta hai. (We humans are helpless against God’s will. She was very good, also very beautiful madam. I’m glad, my child goes after her, rather than me )
He smiles with such gentle emotions in his eyes as he talks to his 6 year old son on a whatsapp call and goes on to tell me that the child now lives with his family in the village. He goes on to explain the intricacies of the marital system in India and the fact that his child isn’t entirely unhappy because he lives with his uncle and aunt and double cousins.
The serene, calm, sad acceptance of what has disrupted his family, chokes me. I wish I had that grace and that acceptance for so many things which are far less significant and not worth cribbing for.
I am humbled and honored by his authenticity, respectful openness, vulnerability and the ability to still look beyond his personal grief. And I whisper the serenity prayer in my heart for him, for myself and for everyone:
Thank you my Uber Driver, for sharing with me and reminding me another life changing truth, your personal truth.