Category Archives: Acts of Random Kindness

The Cab Ride

Stacy sent this to me today… it made me cry.

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.after waiting a few minutes 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 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 nylonsuitcase. 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 gaveme 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 slowin 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 tothe 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 some time, memories and 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. PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLYWHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOWYOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Big Fish Valerie

You know this whole commuting thing is really getting old.   Some days it feels as if the road just gets longer and longer and I haven’t moved an inch. Today was one of those days.  Until… as I was toodling along the endless highway I passed a truck that caught my eye.  Big Fish. What kind of company could possibly sport the same name as one of my favorite movies: Big Fish?  Unfortunately it was too dark to tell, so I am left to wonder (yes, I tried to find it on the world wide inter-web, no success).  Have you ever seen Big Fish?  It’s a wonderful story in which William Bloom, son of a bigger-than-life man named Edward Bloom comes home for one last visit before his father dies.  William has always been embarrassed and dismissive of the stories he has grown up hearing but as Edward lays dying William starts to piece together the tall tales and seemingly endless string of unbelievably impossible adventures gaining a new perspective of the life his father has led.  Okay, so that description certainly sounds depressing and dull, but trust me on this one.  It is not.  I have watched this movie no less than 3 dozen times (not kidding here, if it’s on, I watch) and every time I take away something new.  So as I toodle I start to think about the movie.  As I think about the movie I start feeling weepy.  I’m not weepy about the movie per se; I am just suddenly very weepy. 

 What is it?  What is it that has caused this sudden lapse into woe-ville?  Perhaps it’s the feeling that I have yet to make a difference, an impact, if you will.  Not a big, splashy, hey-look-at-me-attention-grabbing kind of difference.  No, not that kind.  I think it is more of a need to do more and feeling that time is getting away from me kind.  Okay, I am NOT going down that road.  Really and true I am not. 

 Hey you know who this reminds me of, (making an impact part I mean)?  Valerie!

 If you want to read about a really cool chick that has made a BIG difference, check out my friend Val’s blog: http://visitval.blogspot.com .  One of these days I’ll tell you all about our PTA days together and how she set the standard that helped make my (multiple) stints as PTA President so successful.  She’s amazing!  Visit Valerie and rent Big Fish … you will be inspired!

Have a Bumbershoot

Last week I was trying to figure out what I would do for “Make a Difference Day” on Saturday.  The possibilities are endless but truth be told I’m a bit tired of the old standards … I know, I know, that sounds totally harsh … but really, I figure that since we donate food and clothing year ’round it wouldn’t really be making a difference … for me.  Nope, this year I wanted something new and different that made a difference for me … Aha!  Now you are thinking how completely selfish I am … that’s ok.  It was a bit selfish.  Anyway, i thought and I thought and really, nothing.  Not a thing popped into my pea-brain that delighted me a tad.  So I decided that  bringing treats to the neighbors has always been a good bet, might as well do that.

So what happened?  Saturday morning rolls around and I completly FORGOT all about “Make a Difference Day” … Until …  Driving to the store I notice a family of three waiting to cross the street … it is P-O-U-R-I-N-G rain and they are SOAKED!  “Crumb” said I, (for of course i had forgotten what day it was), “Crumb, that poor family is soaked!”.  I then remembered my umbrella on the passenger side of my car.  Sure it’s used, but it wasn’t ‘being used’ at the moment.  And there it was … my “Make a Difference Day” suddenly fell into my lap.  All I needed to do was get a few more umbrellas and pass them around to a few more unprepared folks as they were being pelted by rain … and by gum I did.  

Sometimes making a difference doesn’t require a bunch of forethought.  How lucky was I to have such a gloriously rainy day treat!

World Health Day

and the theme for 2010 is: "1000 Cities – 1000 Lives"
 

With the campaign 1000 cities, 1000 lives, events will be organized worldwide during the week of 7 – 11 April 2010.

The global goals of the campaign are:

I will be participating in a local effort to clean up trash from our parks, streets and public use areas.  I am happy to do my very small, tiddly part in making our environment better.  What really bugs though … that people feel the need to dump their trash wherever they are without a second thought.  Come on folks!  Clean up after yourselves … and that means your dogs poop too.

How will you celebrate World Health Day?  Does your city have plans?  I can’t speak for Utah because while I’ve looked and looked, I have yet to find anything!  But really?  Who needs one dedicated day to make a difference?  Not this gal … I’m still working on my ARK …  and I have much to do.

No Bullies Allowed

Although today is a day for pranks and fools, I feel very strongly that no one and I mean NO ONE ever be bullied, teased, maliciously hurt, or made to feel inferior to anyone else.  I don’t know how many of you have read about the increase in bullying in our schools (whether large or small), in our neighborhoods, and yes, even in our churches.  It breaks my heart to think of kids everywhere being made to feel less than anyone else.  The impact that bullying has on a persons self worth/esteem is profound.  One does not just ‘grow out of it" or overcome the experiences of childhood taunting. 
 
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, talk to your children about bullying.  Please do not enable or dismiss their behavior.  If you are aware of this going on and do nothing about it, YOU are just as GUILTY.   For shame I say! 
 
I encourage you to go to the following link and see how bullying has affected the lives of others:
 
 
make a difference, stand up for those that are not able to do so for themselves.