“Thank you for listening, Boss. You are a good mother…I can tell. Your kids are lucky. Thank you so much for listening.”
Today, during an early morning uber ride, I met a driver with an interesting story. Born in India, he was one of eight children, left school after the 7th grade and started working to help support his family. When he moved to the United States many years ago, he continued to work, taking odd jobs along the way.
Thirty-eight years ago, he and his wife bought a home in Rogers Park (my old ‘hood!) and started a family. They had two children – a boy and a girl. Throughout their lives, he taught them many life lessons; like how to earn and save money, that they needed to respect their parents (he gave them a tour of a juvenile detention facility to make his point), and the importance of education. His children both excelled, graduated from college and are successful in their professional endeavors. He has two grandchildren, who bring him more joy than he could even begin to describe, however, his smile told the entire story.
In three months, he turns 68-years-old and will retire from his full-time job. He will travel to India, and when he returns, he’ll go back to his part-time uber gig. He enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories.
I know this will sound like an easy or obvious act of kindness, but it’s one that I often forget about…listening. Truly listening to a person tell his story, without interruption, thinking about the next thing to say and without judgement. Because I did this, I learned many valuable life lessons, received the highest compliment and connected with someone who loves his family as much as I love mine.
We can really learn so much about each other when we really listen.
#57. Listened (without interruption) to a man’s life story.
#56. Helped a woman whose carry-on was stuck in the overhead bin.
#55. Left a “kindness”note in a bathroom stall at LaGuardia.
#53. Gave a little extra tip for great service at a restaurant.
#52. Brought dinner to a friend who just had a baby.
#51. Gave chocolate to a conductor who was having a bad day.
#50. Woke up a sleeping passenger when his cell phone fell onto the floor of the train. He was SO appreciative!
#49. Put garbage can lid back on trash can (instead of walking by it).