I arrived at the location to pick up a male passenger and when I called to let him know I was there, he asked me to wait because his manager had just arrived. I parked my car and waited. Soon after a woman approached my car and told me the person I was picking up had just left rehab three days ago and had relapsed.  My soon-to-be-passenger had shown up to work drunk! His manager told me not to be scared because he was a good guy and told me I would be taking him to the emergency room at a specific hospital. At first I was a little uneasy. You never really know who is going to get in your car… But after his manager talked to me and explained the situation, I felt ok to drive him. The passenger got in the car and I could smell the alcohol right away. I greeted him and asked how he was to which he replied “not well.” With that answer, our 30-minute ride to the hospital turned into a conversation I never forgot.

 

The passenger looked frustrated and I told him I knew what had happened and asked if he wanted to talk about it. He asked if I could stop for him to smoke and I told him I was instructed to stop only at the hospital. He said: “You are an outstanding citizen!  You really are going to take care of me, huh”? He started telling me about his life and the problems he was having with a divorce, two little children he missed deeply and his alcoholic parents. He teared up a few times and here and there would stop to say how great of a person I was for talking to him. All I could say in response was that I was there for him. And do you know what? I really was.  Gosh, I had been going through a lot myself. After being in therapy for depression, anxiety and PTSD, I knew I could help him by listening to him and being kind. I listened. He talked. He cried. He smiled. After hearing his story I honestly felt connected to him as a human being. I wanted to help in whatever way I could.

 

When we arrived at the hospital I told him I would walk in with him. He didn’t believe me at first. When he saw me parking he thanked me for going in with him because he was scared. At that moment I knew I was doing the right thing. Two things crossed my mind when I decided to walk him in: 1) I wanted to make sure he would check in and get help and 2) I wanted to be there for him in a way no one had ever been. See, that’s the thing about driving people, you establish a connection unlike any other because you are in the car focused on each other. It’s not like meeting someone on the street or at a bar. You are in a situation where you can listen and be heard. People are inherently good and all of us deal with so much. Whenever a person feels that they can talk to someone, they do and what comes out is simply amazing.

 

I walked in with this passenger, checked him in and made sure he was ok. He had told me he didn’t have family or friends. I told him he had me. I have no idea how I ended up in the location I picked him up from but I know there was a reason I was there. I know people come and go out of our lives for a reason. I helped this guy and in a way, he helped me, too. He reinforced my belief that we should always treat people with respect and kindness for we never know the battles people are dealing with. We never know how we can impact someone’s life. I am grateful I had this passenger in my car and I am even more grateful that I had the opportunity to lend him a helping hand at a very difficult time.