My wife took my car so I decided to Uber home. When the Toyota Vios approached, I received an sms message from the Uber app – ‘Your driver (Andrew) has difficulty speaking.’ I was puzzled. I hopped into it and a fine gentleman greeted me with a smile and pointed to the map on his phone, checking if he got my destination right. I replied: ‘Yeah bro.’ I carried on indicating that I would like to proceed via a certain route and when Andrew did not reply to me, that’s when I realized that Andrew is deaf. I tapped him on the shoulder and signaled to him that I would like to sit beside him instead of behind so I could guide him on my preferred route via hand signal.
The journey that ensued the next 25 mins. is one of the most enriching and yet humbling in my life. Being a talkative person by nature, words cannot describe how uncomfortable it was for me that the person beside me could not communicate with me in the way I know how. We kept silent for a good 10 minutes.
A lot of thoughts raced through my head in that short span of time. I asked myself, what if I were deaf? What would my world be like? Would I even have the courage to carry on living, even more, be an Uber driver? At that moment, I just couldn’t control my curiosity.
Hence, I started typing on my iPhone to ask Andrew how he became deaf? He said he was born deaf. The conversation then continued with the Q&A taking place on the iPhone. Andrew shared with me that he had just lost his job as a draftsman for lighting and electrical, which was why he became an Uber driver. His eyes lit up when we chatted about his family. He is happily married with a deaf wife and 3 children who can speak and hear.
At the end of the journey, I told Andrew I wanted to buy his children ice- cream, so I gave him $50. He objected to it, but I insisted and forced it into his pouch. Then I got off the Toyota.
That’s when I realised my $50 is so small compared to the valuable lessons that he taught me in this short 25 mins.
I’m writing this because I hope all of us can learn from Andrew’s attitude towards life.
Thank you Andrew for teaching me silence is golden, and how to slow down in life.
Thank you Andrew for teaching me what courage is (imagine, without the ability to hear or speak, he studied to became a draftsman).
Thank you Andrew for teaching me the positive attitude you have for life even though you do not have the ability to hear.
Thank you Andrew for teaching me gratitude and to be appreciative toward things that we always take for granted.
Thank you for teaching me that the responsibility of the head of the household is to provide for the family no matter how hard the situation is.
Thank you for teaching me via your family and your 3 children that there are no boundaries in love.
Sometimes in life we are get so upset or disappointed with issues that seem so big and important to us. However if we slow down a little to reflect, nothing cannot be solved as long as our heart is healed first. It’s always about perception and attitude.
I really hope Andrew is able to inspire and give us all hope and strength that nothing is impossible.
And special thanks to Uber for creating this job for everyone without discrimination! How I wish this Uber ride was longer!!
I pray that God will always watch over Andrew’s family and provide for them abundantly.”
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