You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late
A friend recently shared the following story with me. I hope that you will be as moved by it as I was. May kindness be the signature of your life in 2023. As the story goes:
At the end of a busy day of passenger pick-ups, a city cab driver pulled up to an address at a small residence in a modest neighborhood. He honked and waited for his passenger. Nothing. He honked again. Nothing. Somewhat annoyed, he went to the door and rang the bell. From within, came a small voice saying "I'll be right there, dear." Shortly, a frail, neatly attired, elderly lady opened the door, dressed and ready to go with a suitcase at her side.
Drawing upon his best manners, the driver relieved her of her suitcase and helped her into the cab. He noted to himself when he picked up her bag that the furniture was covered with sheets and the shades were drawn. She gave him the address of her destination and asked if he would drive through town. "That's a much longer way and will take much more time," he advised. "No worries," she responded, "I have the time."
Along the way, she pointed out to him the places where she had once worked, shopped, dined or frequented with her now departed spouse. He could see these places had meaning for her, that she was reminiscing and so, he relaxed into the drive.
As he pulled up to the address she had given him, he realized that it was a hospice. The pieces now all fell into place - the covered furniture, her suitcase, the long drive through her past.
She broke his thoughts: "Dear, how much do I owe you?" she asked reaching for her purse. Without hesitation, he responded, "this one's on me." Although two orderlies were standing by waiting to assist their new resident, the driver got out and walked around his cab to open the door for her. He gave her a long hug. "Thank you dear. I needed that." she whispered to him as she turned to go.
Returning to his cab, the driver hit "pause". He reflected on how different this experience might have been for them both had he been impatient, not waited for her to answer the door, rushed her along to her destination. How much had it really cost him to be a caring human being, how much had he gained by giving... in this instance... his time and patience... his fare.
It is said that living is giving. Surprisingly, she gave him the opportunity to be a kind, caring human being which left him feeling better about himself. Opportunity in fact surrounds us daily... if we're mindful. Make 2023 a year where you gain by giving.