How a Cab Driver Inspires Me to Do Better

For those of you who live in other parts of the world who aren’t already aware, Vancouver has had a lot of snow over the past few days. In fact, so much snow that even schools in my flat part of the lower mainland were cancelled for the day.

Being the unending optimist that I am, I figured I would be able to drive my boyfriend home (about 20 minutes away on a good night) without incident. We almost made it too!

However, I took a turn too sharp and ended up going way to fast down a hilly side street that hadn’t been plowed, probably ever. I lost control of my car as we careened downhill. I do not have snow tires, a financially viable choice if not a dangerous one.

We ended up drifting into a snow bank and nearly missing a tree in someone’s unshoveled driveway. After taking a moment to catch our breath and thank the creator for our safety (and the safety of my already dented vehicle), we got to work trying to dig my car out from the snow bank we had plunked ourselves in.

Without a shovel, gloves or any kind of winter preparedness (my Yukon family would be so disappointed), we were verifiably stuck. I barely noticed the cab the first time it drove past us, but then it circled back and came to a stop just a bit ahead of us on the street.

The driver called out to my boyfriend “Hey, Brother. Do you need some help?”. Then quickly jumped out and started helping my boyfriend try and push the car while I was hard on the gas.

So we tried for a while to push my car like this, but it quickly became obvious that it was not going to work.

Then the cab driver turned to me and said “I used to be a cab driver in Whistler for about 7 years. Maybe I can help you get out if you let me drive. No guarantees but I can try”. Honestly, I was not very confident in his ability to pull my snow-tire-less car out of the snow bank but I let him do it. He got in the car, told us to stand back and got to work.

He drove, swinging the front end of my car back and forth and with each swing, he crept further and further back up the driveway and onto the side street.

We exchanged a lot of thank yous and shook the cab drivers hand and then he was off.

So, now I am left with a feeling of admiration but also inadequacy. As a future social worker, it is sort of my driving quality to be helpful to other people. However, I feel that I have been slacking lately. In the name of ‘self-care,’ I have been setting very strict boundaries in my life about who I help and when. Now I am not saying I need to rid myself of those boundaries completely, but I do need to work on being flexible.

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