This week I caught an early morning flight to Dallas Love Field for a meeting near downtown. So I decided to take a taxi to my meeting. In recent years I have had numerous taxi rides, but none quite like this one.
This ride was unique not because of a near accident nor the speed by which we sped along. On a side note you have never really lived until you have taken a taxi in China. A taxi ride in China is a blur of speed, pedestrians scrambling for their lives, bicycles weaving in and out, buses heading straight for your side of the car at full speed, and smiling motorcyclists flying by you on the road or sidewalk, and lots of lots of prayer.
This taxi ride was different because of my taxi driver. I struck up a conversation with a man I suspected to be an African American, but who actually turned out to be an African from Nigeria. He spoke exceptional English so I asked him how he ended up driving a taxi in Dallas. He shared that he was working his way through school. He was getting another masters degree, and in a few weeks would be moving to Europe to work for Shell Oil.
To my surprise he was a petroleum engineer who had previously worked for Exxon/Mobil in the Netherlands. He added Exxon/Mobil had moved him and his family to Houston two years ago only to lay them off when the economy went south.
At this point he said, “I will never work for another American company because they care more about the bottom line than for their people–there is no loyalty.” He pointed out that he chose Shell Oil because it was owned by a European company and they were much more loyal.
It is sad that in a chasing after the American dream that people have become disposable to us. As a follower of Jesus, and a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I pray that I will hold His values above all. We must never forget “people count to God.”
So how do we change our reputation in the world. The answers appear quite simple yet will demand the very best of us–love others like you love ourselves, keep your promises, sacrifice for others, love people more than you love money, the rich can do with less so the poor can have more, generosity, compassion, and exchanging the American Dream for the Golden Rule.