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Wow. A really good story I saw on +Tim O'Reilly 's feed.
A sweet lesson on patience.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up 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 90'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 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

(Thanks for sharing +Damien Basile)
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it has been circulating for a couple of years now. good story.
Hey Matt, why are you putting tears in my eyes when I am at work?
Brilliant Story, We will all get there, Life is not a Race !!
Touching story. This serves as a reminder to appreciate not only your own life, but the lives of those around you and how small of an effort it takes to have a negative/positive impact on another person's life. One extra smile or sending a comment someone else's way may be just what someone needs to brighten their day. Show compassion and you will be rewarded with appreciation for everything around you. Couldn't think of a better gift to give or receive!
Wow. Fantastic story. Thanks for sharing Matt.
It could be that I'm 9 months pregnant, but that was a tear jerker. Thanks for sharing.
i'm in tears and feeling for her and the driver
Beautiful story, thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing this lovely story
This story has been around for a while, but I never get tired of reading it.
+Linda Zimmerman. Around for a while? I hate it when I catch something its second or third time around. Oh well, I'm glad I had the chance to read it anyway.
Nice, Thanks for sharing Matt, Aaron and Damian.
I love this story. So sad though.
Back in the day before fleets of black cars wallowed about, NYC yellow cabs were frequently radio dispatched. They used to have a little light on top that said "On Radio Call." Before medallions became so overvalued, there were many more owner operators who would drive their cabs back to their homes when their shifts were over and just park them until the next shift.
I Googled it. The author of this lovely story is Kent Nerburn. It was first published in his book "Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace" in 1999.
And he says that it happened to him 20 years before which would've been 1979 during which period yellow cabs were routinely radio dispatched.
A precious story.. got some tears reading it. It does make you stop and not get so caught up in our silly things. Sometimes you must stop and listen.
Best post I have read all year
Great story ...happened a while ago ... but a wonderful reminder, again, to be kind, thoughtful, compassionate to strangers.
Great story!! Forced me to stop and think for a moment before running full-steam into my day.
Loved it, sort of put's things in to perspective doesn't it. We're all just so busy trying to get as much done in the day and getting frustrated when we still haven't done the things we swore we would do.

Thanks for sharing
Beautiful story ... since moving to Thailand from South Africa I had to learn what patience is ... the clock just ticks slower here :o)
Its a great story and definitely should be true (meaning thats how people should behave) but if the story has minor details switched from various sources then how do we validate the entire story? (Was it Minneapolis, or NYC (I am a New Yoawker and ya gotta wonder about that actually happening here ;-) ). But again, to paraphrase something that I have heard from my dad, just because it didnt happen doesnt mean that it shouldnt happen. On a different note, how do I reach out to you Matt?
Ooops. meant to do that as my personal +1 person.
noe hil
Thank you for giving value to the older members of our community. I think we sometimes forget that they too have something to contribute and can change our lives, just by being heard. You gave this woman a great memory to take with her. In the moment it was not about you.. This is how it should be. Just see the rewards you from a Random Act of Kindness. Something we can all take on board and give to someone else today.
I so glad I took time to stop and read this beautiful story.
Thoughtfulness will never go out of style.
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