Recently I went on a work trip to Canberra and the flight home was a rather bumpy one. The taxi driver who picked me up commented on how it must have been a turbulent flight given the weather at the time and after I said yes, it was quite bumpy we got in to a conversation about how humans are not as strong as they think they are. It stemmed from questions about whether anyone on the plane was scared and I answered that I think a lot of people that fly are scared, whether there is turbulence or now. Our conversation was about how humans are naturally fearful and how their intelligence allows them to outwardly give the image of being strong when they may not feel that inside.
The conversation progressed and we were soon talking about his background. He was half Pakistani, half Turkish and had lived across the world. He had migrated to London when he was young but returned to Pakistan as an adult to pursue business opportunities. His business helped those who were on low to no incomes and he explained how the armies over there didn’t like that and in retaliation they shot him. It took him a long time to recover, his business suffered and he eventually had to move back overseas in order to be safe and free from trouble. Along the way, he lost family members who were shot and had seen a lot of bad things happen to people close to him. He thought that it was because the armies feared the minorities gaining power by creating wealth and so put a stop to the business he had created by hurting him, the business owner.
I am aware that terrible things like this happen in some countries but until you hear of a first hand account, it’s hard to truly grasp the enormity of the situation and the lives people live or the things they have experienced. It brought home just how lucky we are, in a nation that is free from those sorts of crime. A nation that allows freedom and safety from the harm that is experienced in some places.
My conversation with the taxi driver was too short, only because I was back to work before I knew it. I know he had such an amazing story to share (and I think we all do, no matter how mundane you think your story is) and I wish I had more time to ask questions and hear his story because I know it would have been rich with many experiences that I will never know. To be very honest, I am thankful I will never experience a lot of what happened to him, but I am also thankful to hear his story and that he was able to share that with me. One of the biggest things I took from the conversation was that despite the hardship he had experienced and the roadblocks along his path, he picked himself up and went on. He never let it get the best of him and he sought new experiences in different countries.
We both agreed that Australia is a lucky country with many opportunities. You are lucky.