With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share this story regarding an incident that had a major impact on me. It happened nearly a year ago and still chokes me up every time I think about it.
I received a trip request from a rider in Napa, and as I drove the route as dictated by Google Maps, I found myself in a neighborhood I had never seen before. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am not one to judge but this neighborhood was not typical of the nice, Victorian homes so commonly found in downtown Napa. Let’s just say the houses and yards were humble and unkept. I must confess I’m always a little nervous when picking up riders in these types of neighborhoods. I’ve ended up in some very rough areas of San Francisco but have always found people, no matter what their circumstance, to be kind when someone is kind to them (reminds me of a Raggedy Ann and Andy story :)). So out walks a young man in his late 20’s, maybe 30, looking clean and wholesome. I don’t recognize the destination address, but as we start talking it’s clear he’s on his way to work.
We pull up in a large shopping center in south Napa. He works at a fast food restaurant chain, and as he gets out of the car, he turns around and hands me a $3 tip! For several minutes, I sat in my car stunned at this act of generosity. I immediately started getting choked up and my eyes welled with tears. It just hit me hard that a person with apparently little means gave me a $3 tip. I’ve picked up riders at some of the most exclusive, and expensive, resorts in Napa Valley and driven them for 90+ minutes to Bay Area airports. I’ve even dropped off on the tarmac at private jets, and seldom do I get a tip from some of these very “well-to-do” customers.
As I’ve processed this over the past months, I’ve come to realize something very important. Something which seems extremely apropos this holiday season. “Giving has nothing to do with how much you have.”
Sending much love this holiday season.