Day 45 – Asrat
March 2, 2011 by kalafleur9
Blog post by Maria D., a Kindness Investor from Washington, DC.
Tadiyass! (that means hello in Amharic)
Well friends, I had the pleasure of meeting Asrat last weekend and would like to introduce him to you all. I have only taken a cab 3 or 4 times since moving to the DC area in October 2010. Serendipitously, out of the few times I have hailed a random cab, I’ve had the good fortune to ride with Asrat twice! Each time I was feeling low but both time we cheered each other up by chatting about topics ranging from national politics to Neti pots. That is to me what being human is all about – connecting with one another.
Anyway, Asrat is originally from Ethiopia and has resided in the DC/MD area for the past 8 years. He has some family here but most are still in Ethiopia and it has been a long time since Asrat has seen them. He sends money and other things home and works incredibly hard everyday as a cab driver in order to take care of himself and others. In fact, both times I have met him, he’s just started a second shift after a brief nap at home.
at’s life can be rough at times, but he did have some advice for those currently un- or underemployed, “Work hard to find a job. You don’t have to wait, it’s not easy, but you don’t need to depend on others.”
It was this hard work ethic that may have lead him to do what he did with the $10 I handed over. “I’ll give it back to you, thank you.” It was a kind gesture, but not surprising coming from a kind man. Even though Asrat thoroughly enjoys engaging with others on the job, he is often concerned for his safety. As such, what would Asrat want or need from us? A safer job. Not too much, if you ask me…