IT’S TIME TO BE A CONDUIT, A CONNECTOR
We waited to board the bus at 4am on a cold morning in Los Angeles.
A long line of us stood in the parking structure, some shifted weight from one leg to the other, others stared blankly into their phones. A kid spun his suitcase around and around until his mom hissed for him to, “please STOP that, Matthew!”
When the purple and yellow Quik Park bus arrived, the driver opened the side door and tired, cranky, in-desperate-need-of-coffee people dragged their luggage on board.
On the short trip from the parking structure to Los Angeles International Airport, the bus driver regaled passengers with stories of his time in the mob, cracked terrible jokes, and insisted passengers mistook him for Tom Cruise all the time (standing at 6’4” and 325-pounds, we laughed along with him).
When the bus arrived at LAX, the driver helped us with our luggage while people high-fived him, smiled, and waved as they departed.
In less than 10 minutes, one person transformed a group of tired, frustrated, and stressed people into a group of passengers who saw each other, instead of staring into their phones.
We became a group of people who laughed and connected in a real way.
The bus driver? He was a conduit, a way for people to see strangers with more similarities than differences.
As silly as it sounds, that bus driver gave me courage. Courage to show up and bring people together.
I didn’t need a fancy studio, a legit mic, or high-budget cameras. Heck, that driver showed me what could be done in a bus at 4am, why couldn’t I do it from my living room?
A few months ago, I made the committment to show up every Wednesday and host a live conversation on Facebook…and though I was nervous, uncomfortable, and sweaty in unmentionable crevices (TMI?), I did it anyway.
What’s transpired is a group of people of show up and connect in real ways. And I couldn’t be prouder.
I hope we all find a way to bring people together, and focus on our ability to connect with people however best we can. Online or in a bus, we can make it happen.
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