Our vision was to reinvent cities around people, not cars. That vision originated with one of our cofounders, who spent his life in Los Angeles, sitting in traffic and thinking to himself, there has got to be a better way.
Gize gave me a ride from San Francisco to the Oakland Airport. We shared our philosophies on human interaction and connection. I’d been considering starting a blog on kindness during this trip to Northern California while helping out with some fire victim’s in Santa Rosa in 2017. Observing the enormous outpouring of resources and genuine desire to ease suffering during the couple of days I was helping out, started me on this idea. It’s a bummer that tragedy seems to be required to bring kindness into the spotlight, even though kindness is everywhere you look, always.
When I was done in Santa Rosa I spent the night with a friend, Beth, in San Francisco. Beth arranged for a Lyft, like a nicer Lyft, almost a limo, to get me to the Oakland Airport. Beth, not surprisingly, lives on a hill. Beth was on her hands and knees with her head under her car in her garage when the Lyft arrived. I set my rolly suitcase down on the sidewalk and went to say goodbye to her under her car. As my suitcase started to roll into the street, Gize, like a superhero, maybe Spiderman, jumped out, scooped it up and put it in the back of his car/limo/fancy ass car. I noticed the rolly escapee at the same time. It was a near pileup between the two of us, which involved a little scream from me, and was the first of at least 20 times we genuinely laughed together. I took him over to meet Beth under her car. Beth does not care to be viewed in this position…
Gize and I had a bit of a cultural divide, but only due to growing up on different continents, otherwise we’re the same person. He missed his original country with the overwhelming support and connection between all of their citizens, unlike here in America where we end up divided by demographics and wrapped up in our safety seals of steel cars, mostly alone.
Gize is doing his part beautifully to bring the kindness of his home country and spreading it around the San Francisco Bay Area. When he set my suitcase out on the curb at the airport, where it behaved and stayed in place, we shared a hug and I felt I’d just been in the company of one of the best people I have ever met. Gize helped to change me for good. I started this blog partially inspired by our encounter. I’ll never forget that ride.
A couple of days later, Lyft emailed me this:
Five years ago, we started Lyft to spark moments of human connection – sometimes big, sometimes tiny. And now 2.5 million people come together every day in Lyft rides across the country, proving that people from all walks of life can positively impact each other’s day.
I believe Lyft, and drivers like Gize, have found the better way.
Did you know:
Lyft gives free rides to cancer patients to and from treatments
Through their relief rides they give free rides during crises, for example; after the mass-shooting in Las Vegas, they gave rides to blood banks and hospitals, in the aftermath of natural disasters, and to veterans and low-income individuals.
In underserved communities they provided free rides to and from the polls on election day, and 50% off rides to companies that support voter turn out
You can round up and donate the cost of your ride to a charity of your choice with every ride you take and to date Lyft has donated over $10 million dollars
Lyft supports your local non-profit organizations through their community grants program
During this holiday season if you loved grandma’s Fireball laced eggnog a bit too much, think about calling Lyft first. You stand a chance of at least meeting another human being doing the best they can, right where they are.