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A Cab Ride I'll Never Forget

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.  One night I took a fare at 2:30 AM, when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once.   But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.  So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.  After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.  By ... Read Full Story >>

185K Reads

I Wish You Enough

At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane's departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, "I love you, I wish you enough." She said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy." They kissed good-bye and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took ... Read Full Story >>

342K Reads
  • Posted by brighteyes
  • May 10, 2007
  • 221 Comments
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87 Year Old Woman Named Rose

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..." "No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told ... Read Full Story >>

361K Reads

My Hour On the Streets of New York

On Nov 11 of 2006, I made a deal with myself that I would give $1 to every homeless person who asked. Call it a moment of clarity or whatever, but I woke up from a rough night of partying in Vegas and just felt like this model of taking wasn't working for me anymore. Still, to be honest, I embarked on this experiment thinking that I would just bleed money, that there would be 20 or so homeless people a day coming up to me in NYC and that I would run out of money soon. This never happened. When I returned to NY, it took 8 days before I walked past a homeless person who asked me for some spare change. And by that time I had seen the folly of my own mind and was more than happy to part with a measly dollar. It wasn't about the money, ... Read Full Story >>

83.2K Reads

21 Ways To Celebrate Life

After Nancy Rothstein's son, Josh, passed away unexpectedly, she was seeking a way to offer a tribute for family and friends to honor his birthday. With each passing birthday, she adds one more item to the list. Last April 16 would've been Josh's 21st birthday, and true to her tradition, Nancy shared these 21 ways to celebrate life: Smile. Smiling makes you and those around you feel good. If you don’t feel good, a smile can trick your brain into feeling better.   Eat ice cream.   Run on the beach. If you can’t physically do this, use your imagination.   Call someone who is ill or lonely. Listen to their story. Take the time. Tell them your story, if they ask.   Listen to music that touches your heart and soul.   Sing in the shower, or out loud if you are comfortable.   Visit the grave of a loved one and celebrate your continued BREATH. And tell your loved one what’s on ... Read Full Story >>

56.6K Reads

Life Is Baeutiful.

Do you remember the name of your kindergarden teacher? I do, mine. Her name was Mrs White. And I remember thinking she must be some older relation of Walt Disney's Snow White, because she had the same bright blue eyes, short dark hair, red lips and fair skin. I don't remember much about what we learned in her class, but my mother once told me that we used to write a lot. And I would bring back what I wrote and she would look at it and see there were so many mistakes. But no red corrections. And always a star. Sometimes even a Good! scrawled in that would make my heart soar with happiness. But it worried my mother, so one day when she went in to meet Mrs White for one of those Parent-Teacher meetings, she asked her why she never corrected my mistakes. Why she never red-pencilled ... Read Full Story >>

66.7K Reads

My Daughter's Noble Sacrifice

My wife called,"How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?" I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter Sindu looked frightened.  Tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age.She has just turned eight. She particularly detested curd rice. My mother and my wife are orthodox, and believe firmly in the 'cooling effects' of curd rice! I cleared my throat, and picked up the bowl. "Sindu, darling,why don't you take a few mouthful of this curd rice?Just for Dad's sake, dear."  Sindu softened a bit, and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. "OK, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. ... Read Full Story >>

23.8K Reads

Twelve Minute Cab Ride To Penn Station

"Penn Station," I told the cab driver.  The young, heavy-set man peered at me through his sunglasses and motioned me to get in. "I've got to get to JFK airport by 2:30PM.  You think I'll be able to get there via LIRR or should I cab it all the way?" I ask him, as I get comfortable in the back seat.  "Hmmm.  You should be okay.  Yeah, you'll make it.  It will be much cheaper to take the train," he replied in a mild South Asian accent. "Thanks," I told him.  Given his engaging nature, we naturally started a conversation, which went from the weather and quickly veered into the struggles of a cab driver's life.  "How long have you been driving cabs?"  "Three years."  "You like it?"  "It's really hard work.  Not all people are so nice.  I get tired, but what can you do?  You have to pay the bills."  ... Read Full Story >>

51.7K Reads

Who I Am Makes A Difference

Here is a great photo story about "Who I Am Makes A Difference" that you guys might enjoy!  The movie is originally featured at http://www.blueribbonmovie.com and was created by Mary and Craig Reynolds. ... Read Full Story >>

338K Reads

Three Words of Wisdom: "Don't We All?"

One evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was, what society would consider, a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of the "don't want to be bothered" times. "I hope he doesn't ask me for money," I thought.  He didn't.  He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn't look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.  After a few minutes he spoke.  "That's a very nice car," he said.  He was ... Read Full Story >>

30.3K Reads

Message In A Wallet

Many years ago, when I was in high school and working weekends to pay for the extras that my folks couldn't really afford (like a school ring, class trip, etc.), I lost my wallet.  My old car required putting gas in the back (remember that?).  I had prepaid and then put my wallet on the bumper, and drove off.  I hadn't even had time to miss it when our phone rang and a man asked me if I had lost my wallet.  I checked my purse and to my horror, I had.  He asked me to tell him how much $$ was in it, and I told him.  He then told me where to pickup my wallet.  As I pulled into his driveway, I noticed his handicapped van and the ramp going up to the house.  I was thinking that there is no way this man easily got out of his van ... Read Full Story >>

32.4K Reads

A 15 Year Blessing From A Homeless Person

This is a story that happened 15 years ago but it has always stayed with me since then.   On the way back from work every evening, more often than not there would be a homeless man standing at the exit of the freeway.  He looked to be in his late 40's but was probably a lot younger. He had shoulder length straight black hair a short beard, and he was of average stature.   His eyes were what struck me the most about him, they were brown and they had a sparkle. Like an inside light that was beaming out of his eyes.  His eyes, I thought, represented the man in general. People say they can tell a lot from a person’s eyes. It was certainly true in his case.  He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing.     Every day after work I would remember ... Read Full Story >>

60.7K Reads

A Schoolbag Full Of Love Makes A Difference

I must share a heart warming experience I enjoyed this week, both as a parent and a human being. My daughter, Emma (in 7th grade), started back to school last week. There is a young boy in her class (call him Jake) who is quite overweight. As you might expect  he is the butt of many jokes and is treated very badly by other kids (and even by the teachers). Jake gives the impression that he's not a nice guy, mostly because of the fact that he's constantly picked on. For several nights this week Emma came home from school upset about the fact that Jake gets picked on so much. She also mentioned that he had no school supplies as his family could not afford them. He was constantly asking to borrow paper, which just gives kids even more reason to pick on him. One night Emma was extremely upset about this situation, not only because ... Read Full Story >>

29.2K Reads

Top 10 Stories of 2012 - Story #2 - Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!

So I haven't held a job since April of 2011 due to multiple health issues. I currently draw disability but am having trouble finding money at the end of the month so I decided I would look for a partime job. I have been applying, interviewing, etc since July with no prospects. I haVe been told mostly that I am overqualified, or they need fulltime etc. I had been getting pretty discouraged. I started my randomn act of kindness way back in February for me personally, not to get anything back but a good feeling. With no job prospects and with the winter coming meaning higher utility costs etc I had been feeling pretty down and gloomy. I was actually asking myself why cant someone be kind enough to take me on as an employee. This past Tuesday evening it was freezing cold outside and going on 9pm as I was waiting at a city ... Read Full Story >>

17.1K Reads

Walking Away with an Open Heart

I was on my lunch break in the city, enjoying a salad at an outdoor cafe, when a disheveled homeless lady came walking towards me.  She was yelling and begging everyone who walked past her for spare change and she looked like a mess.  My instant reaction was fear... to close off and hope she didn't come near me, but she did.  I was on the phone and when she came over yelling, I said, "I'm on the phone," in the nicest way I could, assuring myself what she needed was a lesson in manners.  After all, that is rude to interrupt someone and I have very little money as it is, if she only knew and on and on...  She walked away, mumbling, "I'm annoying you. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.  I'll leave."  And she turned the corner. Normally, I would feel relieved or satisfied, but something in me couldn't rest.  ... Read Full Story >>

30.9K Reads

An Unsuspecting Restaurant Table

So there we are sitting in our little booth, finishing up a, tasty meal. It dawns on us, it’s time. Who will it be? Who will it be? Hmmm…. them! Who? Them, the couple behind me over my left shoulder. All right, lets do it! Our waiter comes over and asks: Would you like to take the rest with you? Yes, we would. Could we have our check? Ahhh, we’d also like to pay for that table. Uhh…what table? Any table really, but we were thinking of that table…. Fingers point discreetly, and the target is understood. We slip him a SMILE card and ask that it be given to them in lue of the bill. He walks over to the register and exchanges a few words with his manager. The Manager looks up, glances over, and smiles. The waiter returns and asks: He wants to know if this table would ... Read Full Story >>

78.8K Reads

An Act of Kindness in 1988

ÅSGÅRDSTRAND (VG): Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her. Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988. At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness: "You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway, the man ... Read Full Story >>

23.7K Reads
  • Posted by beastly
  • Oct 10, 2008
  • 91 Comments
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The Law of Garbage Trucks

[ Original story, by David J. Pollay ] Sixteen years ago I learned an important life lesson, in the back of a New York City taxi cab. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station.  We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by mere inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.  And I mean, he was actually friendly! So, I asked him, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and could've sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me ... Read Full Story >>

71.9K Reads

Today You, Tomorrow Me

During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people’s cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. And on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my own car, and know enough not to park on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel. Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out "for safety ... Read Full Story >>

54.8K Reads
  • Posted by Justin Horner
  • Mar 10, 2011
  • 90 Comments
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5 Love Notes To My Grand-mother

I was just in France to visit my grand-mother who is very dear to me. I don’t get to cross the Atlantic very often, and she’s now 96 year old, so every time I go visit, the two of us are very aware that it might be the last time we see each other. Last time I visited her in December of 2004, I did a series of short video interviews about her life. I asked her what it was like to grow up with her father in the 1910s (her mother died during labor), to live through the German occupation alone with two young children with a husband away in a prisoners' camp in Germany. I asked her about her greatest memories and life learnings so far, her favorite books, foods, stories. I also asked her about her spirituality and her thoughts about death. I learned a lot of amazing ... Read Full Story >>

18.8K Reads