There must be something about me that broadcasts, “Good listener.” Even in the most casual of settings, I find people telling me their life stories. A recent example of this happened last week. I was in a taxi in NYC. The driver showed me his receipts. I was only his third passenger for the night. He pointed out the Uber and Lyft vehicles surrounding us. He told me he worked at night as a driver because he stayed home with his 3-year old during the day. His wife was a teacher. Years ago, this made sense — they were doing okay financially. Now, he finds himself operating at a huge deficit every month. We talked about his struggle to find work.
Behind every disruption, there’s the worker who gets hurt. I heard Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn talk about the social depression taking place in our country today. Unlike the great depression, there is no active intervention to help people who have lost their jobs due to companies moving overseas and/or industry disruptions.
As a person who believes people count, I think it is a serious problem that we are underinvesting in human capital in our country. I, for one, am thinking a lot about how I can help.