I left for my annual Kushi Conference this afternoon–4 days in Basking Ridge, NJ with like-minded people being served delicious vegetarian fare, attending lectures, cooking classes and social events in a peaceful, offsite location.
Since giving up my car when I moved to NYC, I opted for the shared van ride out of the city. Our instructions were to arrive between 12:30pm and 12:45pm at a location near, but not in front of Port Authority. For some reason, limos aren’t allowed to do pick-ups there. I had to laugh when the dispatcher told me where we’d meet: in front of Papaya Thai, one of New York’s famous hot dog emporiums!
Because it was pouring and I had a large suitcase (to contain my yoga mat), I hailed a cab to get me to the meeting place. I mentioned this irony, along with my destination address, to the driver who set off on an entertaining monologue about vegetarianism, meat-eating and the need for greater mutual respect for the choices we make.
That led him into a diatribe on what’s killing him about living in NYC. It’s not driving a cab or New Yorkers. No. It’s other cab drivers complaining about what’s wrong with this country. Their attitude had clearly wormed its way into his psyche. I wondered if he realized that in complaining so bitterly about their negativity, he was unwittingly allowing them to bring him down with them.
I’m giving a talk soon on gratitude and wondered if I should have rehearsed a bit with this driver. Practicing gratitude is the best antidote I know for overcoming that kind of viral gloom. I did tell him I was very happy that he’d made a big U-turn to come and pick me up in the downpour and gave him a 25% tip. (The charge device in the cabs makes that an easy thing to do these days. Another thing to be grateful for!) Sometimes actions speak louder than words.