I watched a story unfold recently that has been a surprising source of inspiration for me.
I was walking down a busy street in Washington, D.C., chatting with a couple of co-workers. We were deep in conversation about a meeting we had just left.
A cab driver suddenly darted out of the traffic, pulled over to the curb and jumped out of the car with a bag in his hand. He shouted to a young family wandering down the sidewalk, “You left your bag in my cab! I’ve been looking all over for you!”
The family was elated! They had left their camera bag in the cab and assumed they’d never see it again. Things like that can ruin a vacation. I’ve left things in cabs and have never seen it again so their fears were warranted.
The father pulled out his wallet to tip the cabbie and the cabbie refused. I can assure you that almost never happen with a cabby.
The three of us paused to watch this random act of kindness and one said, “Wow, that just kind of restores your faith in humanity!”
Since then, my brain has somehow managed to turn that memory into more than just an, “Aw, that’s nice!” moment. At random times, that memory comes darting out of the traffic, pulls over to the curb of my mind and inspires me all over again. Each time it does, it startles me a bit. I’m not exactly sure why my mind thinks I need to be reminded of that moment, but upon further reflection, here are a few possible reasons:
At the end of the day, how we treat people matters the most
I believe we are eternal beings and even though our bodies might cease and desist some day, our spirits live forever. If that’s true, all that makes it to the other side of this life is people, not things. Therefore, people are the most important things because we are eternal.
Random opportunities come our way to make us feel good about ourselves
That cabbie could have kept the camera bag for himself or sold it. Cabbies work horribly long hours for very little pay and he could have sold it for a couple of weeks’ wages. But he seized an opportunity to feel good about himself. I hope he went home and told his children about what he had done.
Random opportunities come our way to make someone else feel good
The family- even the dad- squealed when they saw the cabbie run to them with the bag in his hands. A recent Twitter post said, “Thank you for handing my dignity back to me. I dropped it for a moment when I forgot who I was.”
My brain has a squirrely way of remembering absolutely worthless information, yet withholding all the important stuff I need to remember; like passwords on my computer, for example.
Then, occasionally, it darts out of traffic and hands me a very important memory that I left behind.
I suppose I should learn how to tip it.
To find other inspirational stories, go to: Random Acts of Kindness