Lessons from a taxi ride. Part1
Why are we so caught up on ourselves on what we don't have, that we can't take a moment to appreciate what we do have?
Enjoy the little things (Taxi line).
“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll realize they were the big things”
– Kurt Vonnegut
As a person living in Ethiopia (specifically Addis Ababa); it would be hard and you have to have a certain level of wealth to not have gone through your life without taking a minibus taxi. Therefore, it is very common and relatable for Urban residents of Ethiopia in general. This is why I decided to start this series to explore the thoughts and observations that come to mind during my time on board, and the lessons I learned through them.
So, let’s get into it
I often try to reflect on my privilege, and when I say privilege, I don’t mean it in a superficial way. What I mean by my privilege is my ability to do things that most people can do, but take for granted; it creates this feeling that since most people have it, we believe that it’s not necessarily a privilege. I believe everyone is privileged in their own right.
Think of it this way – if you are able to wake up every morning knowing full well someone out there cares for your well-being, whether it be your immediate family, close friends, or even distant relatives (distant in terms of proximity); or if you are healthy, have the ability to eat at least 2-3 meals a day, or even have access to proper running water; you have some form of privilege. However, in our current society, we ponder too much about what we don’t have instead of appreciating the things we do have. That’s why we have to start Enjoying the little things.
Today for example I stood in a line so long, you would need a separate taxi to reach the front of the line. I was waiting for a minibus taxi to arrive, mind you this is a route I often go through, and had never had to wait in line. This time I had to, and after waiting in line for about 25 minutes in the gleaming sun, a couple of empty minibus taxi's arrived and boarded the majority of us. It was at that moment I decided to enjoy that little thing. I never knew I would be happy for a taxi to arrive at that specific route, but it did and so were most people that boarded. Except for the people that were happy like I didn’t actually sit in that momentary feeling of joy or consciously decide to “Enjoy that little thing”. But since I consciously decided to – once I reached my destination I was automatically put into a great mood.
Me having a better day or better hour was usually directed to my being able to enjoy that little thing. The exercise I often do is try to enjoy the little things and by proxy be grateful for that “little thing” that had me enjoy that split moment.
Thus, I genuinely believe if we try to take this approach to most things that happen in our lives, we will be a far happier being.