Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Learning From A Cabbie

--by beastly, posted May 13, 2009

A couple weeks ago I was standing out on a cold evening in New York City waiting for a cab to come take me to a nightclub.  After about 5 minutes of waiting, I was picked up by a middle-eastern gentleman in his 30's, and he was clearly angry.  Swear words left and right about how horrible New Yorkers were.  I knew my cab ride would only be about 10 minutes and there was a part of me that wanted to be silent and just move on with my life, but I also wanted to try and connect.

I asked the man what the issue was, and after some beating around the bush, he told me that he had just come from JFK airport without a customer.  For those that don't know, this is basically $70 in lost fare, which is a fairly big deal.  I tried my best to commisserate and share in his frustration.  Over the course of that cab ride, what started as pure anger slowly shifted to inquiry.  He mentioned that he had read an article a while back which said that the happiest people are the ones that give, so he hoped he'd have more chances to give in his life.  I was really starting to enjoy being in the presence of this introspective man!  We continued talking about why giving is so beneficial both to giver and receiver and different ways to practice it.

As we arrived at my destination, I paid my fare by credit card (with generous tip), but didn't want to stop there.  I pulled out an extra $20 and said:

'sir, since we've been talking about giving this whole time, I wanted to share that feeling of giving with you.  I've already paid my fare, but here's an extra little bit.  you can keep it if you want, since you're already down $70 from jfk.  But, if you want to experience the power of the gift, then tell the next passenger in this cab that their ride is a gift from another and they can share their gratitude in whatever way they wish.'

I thought I was being a pretty cool guy at this point!  but that's when the cabbie blew me away.  He turned toward me, tears in his eyes, and he says:

'sir, i have better idea.  you give that $20 to a homeless person around here and i will gift the next passenger with free ride myself.'

wow.  this man was literally yelling obscenities to me 10 minutes ago.  i got out of the car and walked around for a bit trying to find someone to get a meal for before heading to my destination.

was an absolute honor meeting that cabbie and learning the lesson of how everyone is capable of giving and totally flooring another with their generosity.

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Readers Comments

Rajni wrote: It is wisely said that "giving paves the way of receiving"

Your beautiful way of talking changed the heart of that cabbie, who in turn inspired you to be kinder to homeless people. Kindness ripples can move in any direction.
Oguzoguz wrote: Alex november 23, 2011 10:48 am seems that it's very common for ppeloe to forget their iphones in cabs and later case them with that app :)personally i've lost 2 phones(not iphones) in cabs before not never recovered them. :(
moral12 wrote: Amazing story; you were very kind, yourself, to take the time to find out why the cabbie was having such a bad evening. And, you turned his negative into a positive. Thanks for sharing.
mysteria wrote: That was a great story.
missdre wrote: I love this.
vinanth wrote: A transforming story.

Long live cabbie. A lot to learn from you.
hotcocoa wrote: Wow what a change.

This is a win-win situation, you both learned from each other :)
God bless you both and thanks for sharing this nice story :)
Yogs wrote: Very nice story!
kirthika wrote: Proved a man in any position can give or help anyone. And also taught rich people who didnt help anyone
Gintautas wrote: I love inga!

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