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Lessons From the Road

Shutterstock / Paola Bona

Lessons From the Road

Since Jan. 1, 2015, I’ve been interviewing one person each day about the meaning of life. Mostly total strangers. The Meaning of Life Project is my way of sharing what I've learned.

Since I began interviewing people for this series, I have an amazing excuse to skip the small talk and ask really important life questions: what advice do they have for a baby? What advice comes from experiences they might wish to change? What do they think the meaning of life is? The answers are always compelling, but some of my very favorite interviews have been with taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers are some of the most interesting people I’ve met. Their expectations for conversation are low… most people riding with them are far more engaged with their iPhones than the possibility of human connection. In the taxi together, we are just two people on a journey.  There is something completely magical about that. Their lives often started far, far away, and they embrace the opportunity to share the wisdom they gained on the road. 

Racing home from O’Hare one night to make my son’s band performance, with gate delays already against me, I popped into a cab. My driver did everything he could to get me there on time, and on the way he shared some touching insights on his purpose in life: raising his only daughter. The sacrifices he made for her were pretty extreme. We finished our purposefully anonymous exchange just as my son’s school came into sight. I was ready to jump out of the cab and sprint to the door as my driver turned to me and, with the most beautiful smile, put out his hand to introduce himself. “My name is Joseph.” 

This month’s blog is dedicated to Joseph (and all the people who move us from place to place every day). May the dreams they’re driving for come true. 

Thanks for an amazing ride.

Kim Evenson is Legacy.com's Chief Marketing Officer. The inspiration for the Meaning of Life Project was born from the company's mission of preserving life stories and sharing important lessons.