CLA’s Kirthi Mani was inspired by her New York City cab driver, who used his down time during the COVID-19 lockdown to pursue his lifelong dream of writing a book. This inspiring story could encourage us all to shift our mindset in these challenging times.

COVID Inspirational and Leadership

NYC Cab Driver Prompts Mindset Shift During Pandemic

  • Kirthi Mani
  • 5/22/2020

Dave*, our cab driver for rides to and from JFK airport, finished writing a book three weeks into the lockdown in New York City.

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He emailed a draft to my husband and me for proofreading, and now it is off to a publisher!

Dave loves to talk to his passengers and has an amazing collection of stories that he has gathered over the years. He always had an urge to tell these stories in a book someday. The shutdown in New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic finally gave him the chance to do it.

I was so inspired by Dave. It brought to mind a quote from the late Stan Lee, one of the principal creators of Marvel Comics. It comes from his speech at a UCLA commencement ceremony:

“If you have an idea that you genuinely think is good, don’t let some idiot talk you out of it.”

The difficult times that we are in today can lead to clear perspectives as we re-examine habits and break patterns of behavior. The slower pace that can come with the “new normal” of stay-at-home orders and social distancing can also be the perfect time for innovation and invention.

Maybe you always wanted to write a book, learn a new language, or try that idea on how you could better serve your customer base, but never took the time to stop and act upon that desire.

This pandemic is rewriting the rules. If you have an idea, say it. Write it down. Start talking about it with people. People may challenge you when you share it. Say in return, “Challenge accepted!”

As Lee says in his speech, “if there is something that you feel is good, something you want to do, something that means something to you … do it.”

*Name has been changed to protect the subject’s identity.

  • Kirthi Mani
  • Principal