Tayyab Journal / ENG

How I Studied People and Life While Driving a Taxi. Episode 2

Dua changes predestination

20:15. New client. I picked up a plump Hispanic woman in her 20s named Anabel. She told me about her accident; She hasn't driven a car for 3 years. She was hit by a drunk driver when she was driving with her children. All the children were affected, even the baby. She herself was in a coma for three months.

"I still can’t work with my hand, see? I've had several surgeries."

I sympathized with her, and she replied, "I don’t understand why God allowed this." I'm religious; I go to church; I always did, even before the accident. Why would God do this to me?"

I thought for a moment, and then I answered, "Don't you think that maybe all of you, or some of you, are destined to die?" It was a provocative question, so I hoped I could clarify it before I got slapped.

"What do you mean?" she said harshly.

"In my religion, Islam, we believe that life and death are predestined. But we also believe that prayer can change predestination. You have gone through horrendous things and yet survived; that is a great mercy. Perhaps if you weren't religious, things would be different." Upon arrival at the destination, a large Mexican man stood on the sidewalk, waiting for Anabel. She did not come out, thoughtfully looked at me. I hoped that he would not think anything bad. After studying me, she thanked me and left.

Anger issues

21:00. I was called by a girl, 22–23 years old, dressed like a boy—baggy shorts, a T-shirt, short hair. She walked across town to the liquor store, then to the hotel. She told me that she had recently been released from prison. "I had anger issues," she said. "I was cruel to people. Now I'm taking anger management courses.

I decided to share my thoughts with her and advised her not to be provoked and to respond only if attacked. In other cases, a non-violent solution can be found. Even if you walk away offended, it's not your fear but your knowledge that retaliatory violence, while pleasurable, can ruin your life. "I say this as someone who is familiar with violence and as someone who is skilled in combat."

"Learn to solve the problem with words. It will not be easy; practice is needed, just as in sports. She thanked me and said that she never wants to go back to prison again and never will.