I’ve been hearing a whole lot of “GOD BLESS YOUs” exchanged out there, and it’s not just that everyone is sneezing.
Our collective story is evolving now from awareness that “everyone is fighting the good fight” to an acknowledgment many are now waving the white flag. Surrender isn’t the same as giving up.
Not long ago, God bless you was rarely said outside a house of worship, although God bless you has often shown up beside “the finger” on countless highways and colored with plenty of sarcasm. But things are changing.
We’re a worn out world of dueling stories. The stories I’m telling and the stories you’re telling. Here’s mine:
I had an accident and an injury and had to get to a doctor’s appointment by cab. I had an easy ride getting there and now just wanted to get back home.
The story painted on the side of the car says “LA's Most Reliable Taxi Service.” Thirty minutes after I was told I’d "get a cab in ten", the car arrived. I was boiling. I told the driver I’d be paying by card. He pointed to his gas gauge, “No card,” he panicked in broken English. “Empty, see? I have no gas. You don’t have cash?”
“Do you have enough gas to get me to my house?” I asked.
“Maybe,” he said, his voice was cracking. I panicked. I saw myself walking.
“No worries,” I said. “I was going to ask you to stop at Citibank on Ventura anyway.
“Thank you,” he said, relief overcoming him. “You are a kind lady. Don’t worry. I’ve been driving LA for twenty years. I know exactly where the bank is.”
He didn’t. Or any other block or the way to my house. At this point, I was laughing. When he pulled into my driveway, he beamed with joy.
“See? It all worked out! You’re happy, I’m happy.”
“Most people don’t even know where they’re going. They can’t give good directions like you. God bless you.” It was genuine. It wasn’t about God. I could have gone inside and hopped on a Yelp review or called the manager of the company.
But I had experienced an exchange—the currency of being forgiving, understood, shown some compassion, and having my energy lifted. A little lightening up is plenty valuable. Life has its own business plans. If we can let go, we can go along for the ride. We may do even better next time. I gave the company another chance. And not that I’m looking to be canonized, but I gave the driver a tip. He tried to refuse it.
But I’m glad he didn’t.
Because If you can give me the service I need and return me to the simplicity of who I really am plus, leave me with a story worth telling: “God bless you!”
And thanks for reading and sharing.