I was taking an Uber to the airport in Dallas, Texas with my great friend Michael Maidens (who was one of the co-creators of The Abundance Code film) when I met an incredible everyday hero. Our driver.
She was a lovely middle-aged African American lady. She was really friendly and had the most beautiful smile.
Michael and I started chatting to her and asking her about her life, what she does, why she started doing Uber driving, etc.
What she told us was so humbling and inspiring.
“I have the best job in the world” she said. She explained that she’s a high school teacher. “I just love those kids so much.”
I could really picture her being a wonderful role model to the teens she taught… helping to guide and navigate them through one of the most awkward phases of life.
I know when I was a teenager, my teachers had a big impact on me. I was so impressionable at that age. Some of my teachers were not so fantastic, others were amazing. Good or bad, though, they all had a big impact.
(By the way, I think teaching has to be one of the most underappreciated professions on the planet. The way we educate and inspire our young people is SO important, and yet I don’t feel like we give it enough attention as a society. That’s a whole other conversation though!)
Anyway, finding out she was a loving and positive role model as a teacher was very cool and made me feel happy, but that’s not what blew my mind about this lady.
She said that the school she worked at had a lot of kids from poor families. In order for the kids to participate in their high school graduation ceremony, there was a fee of $385.00 which the families were expected to pay. That fee paid for the rental of the graduation robes and hat, transportation and for their teen’s attendance at a big graduation party.
Many of the poorer families couldn’t afford it. Those families were living paycheck to paycheck, and they just couldn’t come up with the $385.00 so that their kids could celebrate this major milestone in their life, of graduating from high school.
So that’s why she was Uber driving on the side. In addition to her full working week as a teacher, many nights and on the weekends she would drive people around. All the money she made driving for Uber she put towards paying the graduation fees for as many kids as possible, kids who otherwise couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t be able to attend their own high school graduation.
She was so cheerful and chirpy as she was explaining this situation to us. She was not resentful at all that she had to give up her own free time to help other people out. She said it made her happy to be able to help them, and what else was she going to do with that time anyway? Watch TV? She said that driving Uber allowed her to meet lots of people, have some great conversations, and help out a whole bunch of her students (whom she loved).
I thought to myself: “Wow. This is abundance in action. What an inspirational person!” And I realised that people like her are actually all around us, all the time.
Stories like this one are, unfortunately, NOT the kinds of stories that we typically hear on the news… and it’s easy for us to get hyper-focused on all the negative and sensationalized things going on in politics or being discussed in the media.
Her story reminded me, that although we may not see them or hear about them as much as we should… there are heroes, everyday heroes, everywhere.
As always let me know in the comments if this post has helped you in any way, and let me know about some of the everyday heroes in your life.
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns