I zoomed through my Wednesday morning routine and flipped on my Lyft app to see where I'd be heading. The first ride of the day came from Hollywood Boulevard, a busy area full of tourists checking out the glamour and excitement of Hollywood. I geared up to show people around the city when I realized it would be a completely different Lyft than I expected. I picked up a young gentleman who limped over to my car, struggling with a very heavy television set. I jumped out to assist him, and we loaded the TV and other valuables in my trunk. As we started the ride, I asked my usual, "How are things with you, man? Good day?"
I didn't expect the story that followed.
He sighed, and told me that he had been diagnosed with cancer at age 29. His voice broke as he told how he discovered the illness. To combat the serious emotions, he began to laugh. Sometimes all you can do is laugh, he said.
We had a deep conversation on the way to the pawn shop. He was selling everything of value that he owned so he could afford a flight home to see his family and spend time with them.
He shared quite a bit of his life story, and we both got emotional. I congratulated him on embracing his life, showing gratitude for the time he has, and sharing his fun memories with me. He smiled as we unloaded all his possessions at the pawn shop to get them appraised.
He thanked me repeatedly, and said he was full of excitement for seeing his family. Our conversation had given him some hope for the future and a more positive outlook.
I drive for Lyft for many reasons — but that day, it was to give hope.