Change is a Harsh Mistress

Living snapshot of life from Vietnam to San Francisco

I normally use Uber but I used a taxi to go from my hotel to the airport today, because taxis have a natural advantage in this respect: they’re lined up right outside my hotel entrance (if there had been a wait, I’d have used Uber though).

My taxi driver was a charming man from Vietnam who came here in 1975 after the Fall of Saigon. He told me how taxis were losing their best drivers because the best drivers were going over to Uber. He also told me how he hated how Uber is destroying a business that has been around for years, and how unfair it was that he has to pay for a taxi medallion when Uber doesn’t. He doesn’t want to work for Uber because he doesn’t like change.

I feel for him. I really do. He is a nice man who has seen the worst of what “change” can mean for humankind. But I think part of why he came to the USA in 1975 and was able to make a home is because we’re a place of perpetual change, of new beginnings, of embracing new ideas, of the constant triumph of innovation over the status quo.