A man with a million little lessons

by Jan on June 24, 2011


“Just look me up on the Internet
,” he told me. “I am known around the world.  I am Fabio Peralta, the Greatest Taxi.”

Over the next thirty minutes, Fabio, the New York City taxi-driver, filled me in on the rest of his story—one of resolve, wisdom and inspiration.

As a 7-year-old he was hungry. “I wanted more to eat,” he said.

Living in the Dominican Republic, his parents simply did not have the money to feed him enough.  At this early age, Fabio knew that if he were going to get “enough” in life, he would have to work for it.

For a few pennies, he began to do chores for people in his neighborhood. He carried water and groceries. He shined shoes and did whatever was needed.  He was “always figuring out how to make a buck.”

Amazingly, he managed to earn enough money to feed himself.

But industriousness isn’t the only attribute in which Fabio draws his strength. For more than 30 years, he has engaged his passengers by inviting them to draw something for his book. He always makes one simple request:

“Teach me one thing today,” he asks one and all – the well educated, the powerful, the not so powerful.

As a result, he has learned about politics, finance, computers, philosophy, medicine and even how to live a more fulfilling life.  He told me that more than 25 years ago, one man told him about computers and a stock called Microsoft!

He has become a knowledgeable man by driving a cab.  This is his math:  30 passengers a day over one year, equals 31,200 lessons a year.  Over his 30 years the number is astronomical.  936,000 lessons.  I can only share a few of those lessons.

“Life is short, enjoy yourself.”
“Never give up your dream.”
“Listen carefully.”

As we approached my hotel, he asked me if I would like to be in his movie.  Yes!  He is producing a movie—his life’s ambition.  It is called “The Greatest Taxi.”   For the movie he is interviewing passengers about what they would like to tell the world.

I talked about my passion, “hope,” on his camera phone.  Then he asked me to sing something.  I sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY (off-key).

He told me everyone loves him. By that time, I did too.

I bought his glossy covered book, filled with the drawings of some of his “fares,” and gave him a big tip.  When I got out of the cab I felt uplifted.

All he wanted to do was “make a buck” in order to survive—and along the way he has made thousands of people feel a little better by asking one question and by sharing his stories and wisdom.

He is a living example of how hope works it wonders—dream, hope, and work hard.

He became one of my heroes.

Read more about Fabio.

2 comments

COOL!!! I want to go to NY to meet Fabio!

by Kris on June 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm. #

I love this story on so many levels. I have had some of the most amazing conversations with taxi cab drivers, from all over the world. We meet enroute to some other destination, and in the span of a few short minutes or an hour or more, we exchange stories, ideas, values, hopes, struggles, dreams, and laughter. I also love Fabio’s “teach me one thing” goal. After all, no matter how much we may think we already know, there is still so much for us still to learn – from others, from experiences, and from life itself.

Recently I had my own amazing experience with a cabbie, which I wrote about on my blog. His name was George, and his story is about exceptional customer service. You can read about here: http://wp.me/p10m86-9r

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story!

Sharon

by Sharon Reed on June 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm. #