Creating our life from our Language

We Create Our Life From Our Language

How many times a day does someone ask, “How are you doing”? And the response is often “Fine”. Or, “OK”. And, when we thank someone for service or support provided, they reply, “No problem”.

In 2003, Mary and I were visiting New York City for our anniversary weekend the first weekend in February. This weekend often coincides with the Super Bowl. We were leaving the Metropolitan Museum of Art planning to watch Super Bowl at Mickey Mantle’s restaurant. I was excited because it was a sports bar with big screen televisions everywhere. And, the concierge from our hotel assured me we would have great seats from which to watch the game.

As we came outside it was beginning to rain. I thought to myself, “OH NO! If it is raining we will never get a cab to stop in New York”. And “Cab’s don’t stop in New York when it is raining”, particularly for someone in a wheelchair. As I fast forwarded in my mind I thought the cab driver would need to get out of his vehicle in the rain, come to the curb side of the car to assist me in getting in the back seat, collapse the chair, put it in the trunk and do the reverse when we arrive at the restaurant. He will never stop and we will get drenched while we wait.

The moment I raised my hand to flag a cab, the driver saw me, pulled over, and jumped from his spot behind the wheel to assist. When he came around the back of his cab I said “THANK YOU FOR STOPPING!”. His response and his words will forever be etched in my memory. He then said “YOU ARE WELCOME, IT IS MY PRIVILEDGE”.
It is my privilege! WOW, he said, “It is my privilege”! I then thought to myself, “Is this the New York City where in 1969 a waitress yelled at me for ordering my coffee wrong”???

I asked for a cup of coffee to go with my eggs and bacon. When it came with cream I was surprised. I then asked for black coffee, and when I did, she YELLED, “You didn’t say black coffee!” I was made to feel like the ignorant kid from the Midwest who didn’t know what he was doing. And, the way I was raised, I should apologize, and I did.
When the cab driver said, “It is my privilege”, I was struck by the power and courtesy and intention behind his words. This man was committed to serving others and it was evident by his words and his actions.

I have been lucky enough to tell this story many times. During that weekend in New York, the courteous behavior and the exceptional service we received became the source of a vision I have for everyone who lives in St. Louis.
I not only want visitors to our city to have a WOW experience because of our people. But also, I want every citizen to be moved by our generous nature, proud of our hospitality and confident we can depend upon one another no matter the circumstances.

And, when we greet someone new and they say thank you for your service, we respond by saying “IT IS MY PRIVILEGE!”

Posted in Community, Family/Personal.