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To help you stay connected to the latest content posted on our site, we offer two newsletters. Our 'Kindness Weekly' features a kind idea, three stories from our vast archives and a reader comment. For those who like a daily dose of inspiration, 'Kindness Daily' sends out a full story, whenever a new story is posted on our homepage. All our activities are done with the sole intent of spreading smiles in the world; we are strictly non-commercial and carry no advertisement.

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Aug 11, 2013

"We shall practice listening so attentively that we are able to hear what the other is saying -- and also what is left unsaid. We know that by listening deeply we already alleviate a great deal of pain and suffering in the other." -- Anonymous

Idea of the Week

"We went to a theatre to watch a documentary yesterday. The audience it attracted was mostly "older" adults..... 70's & 80's. While writing for the film to start. I was blessed to be engaged in conversation with a few different people who shared stories of their youth with me. I loved their energy & loved hearing their stories... I was totally absorbed in listening. Their eyes shone telling me their stories & my heart shone hearing them. I left with happiness in my heart a smile on my face. Everyone has stories to share & listening to them is a kindness gift for both the teller & the listener. Grateful." -- Mish

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Stories of the Week
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Three Words of Wisdom: "Don't We All?" >>
Smiles from the Hospital to Fabric Store >>
Breakfast Made All The Difference >>
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Comment of the Week

"What motivates my kindness is life's trials and tribulations that I've gone through and continue to encounter that have taught me to be humble and offer a smile at all times, listening ear when needed, services when able, and hug on demand." - Curie

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A Cab Ride I'll Never Forget
October 23, 2016 - Posted by Terry
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.  One night I took a fare at 2:30 AM, when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once.
But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. 

So 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 80'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 1940s 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 knick-knacks 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 treated."

"Oh, you're such a good man," 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. "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. "Oh, there are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.  Our hug ended with her remark, "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy."  After a slight pause, she added, "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.
[ Original Story by Kent Nerburn ]
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Featured Stories

A Cab Ride I'll Never Forget (Oct 1, 2016)

The Girl Student Sitting at the Back of the Classroom (Jun 30, 2016)

Listening to the little voice within (Feb 14, 2016)

When The Student Is The Teacher (Feb 12, 2016)

Taking inspiration from KS community (Jan 7, 2016)

More Stories >>

Idea of the Week

Corporate Compassion.

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