Yesterday, I hopped into a cab to attend an event. To my surprise, the cabbie, Pedro, was listening to a talk on mental health instead of the usual music and songs played on FM. Intrigued, I asked him why he was listening to this talk.
Pedro had an interesting anecdote to share. He came to Jacksonville nine years ago, alone and afraid of missing his parents and siblings. He felt lonely and lacked the security of having someone to rely on. Calling his family frequently was not an option.
I was curious to know what he did next. Pedro said that after much thought, he decided to focus on things he loved doing. He started going to the gym, taking care of himself, listening to great music, and eating good food. Gradually, he made friends and found a partner who had good traits that he picked up. Today, he no longer needs to call his family in times of difficulty because he has solid friends. He even showed me a quote he posted on Facebook.
Pedro said that he chose happiness because he feels happy when he is with people. He loves taking care of his friends and is affected when they are unhappy. His parting note was inspiring. He said that no matter who he meets during the day, his mantra is, “I will have a great day today.”
Pedro’s story is a reminder that we need people. We need to take care of friends and neighbours.
Needless to say, I was very happy to meet Pedro and yes we exchanged numbers