I found this article on the internet and thought that it was worth sharing. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
I am a taxi driver who makes a living in New York. One day, I received a call from a strange passenger.
This experience left a deep impression on me. So I shared this story anonymously on the Internet:
I got a call asking me to go to an address to pick up passengers. After arriving, I honked the horn, but no one came out.
I called, but no one picked up, and I started to become a little impatient. This was my last stop of the afternoon before I went on break.
I almost gave up and left, but in the end, after thinking about it, I stayed. I decided to wait a while, before getting out of the car and ringing the doorbell.
I heard an old, feeble voice say: “Wait a minute!” I waited at the door for a while before it slowly opened. A petite old lady stood in the doorway. I think that she was at least 90 years old. She had a small suitcase in her hand.
I glanced inside the apartment and was surprised by what I saw.
It almost looked like no one lived there. All the furniture was covered with dust cloths. The four walls were bare. There were no clocks, no decorations, not even a photo or a painting. I only saw a box piled in the corner, filled with old photos and souvenirs.
“Young man, can I trouble you to help me get my suitcase into the car?” said the old lady.
After I put her luggage in the trunk, I came back and took her arm so that I could help her walk downstairs to my car. She thanked me for my help.
“I believe that I should treat passengers like I treat my own mother,” I said.
The old lady laughed. “Oh, you’re really nice,” she said.
She got into the car, gave me an address, and asked me not to take the route downtown.
“But that is my only shortcut. We’ll have to keep detouring,” I told her.
“It’s ok, I’m not in a hurry,” she replied. “I’m going to a nursing home.”
Her words surprised me a little.
“Isn’t a nursing home a place where old people wait to die?” I thought to myself.
“I don’t have any relatives,” the old lady went on. “The doctor said I don’t have much time left.”
At that moment, I decided to turn off the odometer.
“So where would you like me to go?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we traveled around the outskirts of the city. In the car, she pointed out to me a restaurant where she once worked as a hostess. There was the house where she and her husband lived in their early years, and a ballroom she used to dance at when she was younger.
When we drove through certain streets, she asked me to drive more slowly while she stared silently and curiously out the window.
We circled around for almost the whole afternoon and evening until the old lady finally said: “I’m tired. Let’s go to our destination.”
We didn’t say a word on our way to the nursing home. The place was smaller than I had thought. When I parked, two nurses came out to greet us. They brought a wheelchair for the old lady, and I carried her luggage.
“So how much was this ride in total?” the old lady asked while rummaging through her handbag.
“It was free,” I replied.
“But you also have to support your family,” the old lady protested.
“There will be other passengers,” I told her with a smile. I then gave her a goodbye hug without a second thought.
She hugged me back tightly and said with tear-filled eyes: “You made the life of an old woman who has almost reached her last few steps very happy. Thank you.”
I shook hands with her and said goodbye.
On my way back, I found myself driving aimlessly through the city center. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t even have enough energy to pick up passengers. I kept on thinking, what if I hadn’t waited for her?
If I had just driven away, what would she have done?
Now when I think back on that day, I still believe that I made the correct decision.
Our lives always seem to be so busy. There are always more important things that we need to do. However, this old lady made me realize that “quiet, meaningful moments” are also valuable. It also made me feel sad that one’s last journey in life could be full of loneliness and disappointment. If I had not taken the time to make her happy, this was all that she would have gotten.
We all have to take some time off to enjoy our lives. We should not honk the horn in haste, but be more patient. Then, maybe we’ll be able to see what really matters.
“True happiness does not come from comfort, wealth, or the admiration of others,” but from when we do something meaningful.
The original Chinese article is posted on https://cofacts.tw/article/30hfg5okn0oj5.