This is a great true story about a person who gave a random act of kindness and make a difference in someone’s life.
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry.
Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.
But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick four-plex in a quiet part of town.
I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away. 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 80s 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, and 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 would want my mother 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 rearview 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.
“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 lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
A simple act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on person’s life. Make a little act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that maybe someday, someone might do the same with you.
How Would You Like To Be Remembered?
Would you rather be remembered as the person who tried and failed at something or not is remembered at all? About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column.
The newspapers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was a shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure. His second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies” And also “He was the merchant of death”. This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death”, he asked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?”
He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.
How Would You Like To Be Remembered
- Will you be remembered with love and respect?
- What is your legacy?
- Will you be spoken well of?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- Will you be missed?
To be remembered by many not just about my achievements but instead for the bravery and courage to follow my dreams, while leaving a great inspiration for others.
Top Gun Quotes – The Need For Speed
The 1986 movie Top Gun directed by Tony Scott made over $356 million dollars worldwide, and included a legendary cast that includes Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Michael Ironside, and Kelly McGillis.
In Tom Cruise’s long and impressive career, few movies stand out as much as Top Gun. The film had Cruise playing Maverick, a skilled and arrogant fighter pilot who competes against the world’s best in the Top Gun flight school. The movie was a fun, energetic 80s movie that helped make Cruise the blockbuster superstar he is today.
In between the air combat sequences and love scenes between Maverick and Charlie (Kelly McGillis), they managed to fit in some nice one-liners and dialogue, though.
Here are the best Top Gun quotes from Maverick, Goose, Viper, Stinger, Jester, Iceman and the rest of the Top Gun cast.
“If I can’t shoot this son of a bitch, let’s at least have some fun with him.”
“I don’t like you because you’re dangerous.”
“That’s right! Ice… man. I am dangerous.”
“It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
Quotes from Top Gun
“ I flew with your old man. VF-51, the Oriskany. You’re a lot like he was. Only better… and worse. He was a natural heroic son of a bitch that one.”
“Now I’m not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass”
“A good pilot is compelled to evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he’s learned.”
“That son of a bitch cut me off!”
“Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”
“Just want to serve my country, be the best pilot in the Navy, sir.”
“You two characters are going to Top Gun.”
Best Top Gun Quotes
” If you had to go into battle, would you want him with you?”
“Hey, Goose, you big stud! Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
“The list is long, but distinguished.”
“The defense department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid.”
“I feel the need…”
“I feel the need…the need for speed!”
“You don’t have time to think up there. If you think, you’re dead.”
“You can be my wingman any time.”
“They gave you your choice of duty, son. Anything, anywhere.”
“No. No, Mav, this is not a good idea.”
Top Gun Goose Quotes
“Sorry, Goose, but it’s time to buzz a tower.”
“Top Gun rules of engagement are written for your safety and for that of your team. They are not flexible, nor am I. Either obey them or you are history. Is that clear?”
“Any of you boys seen an aircraft-carrier around here?”
“Crashed and burned! Huh, Mav?”
“When I fly, I’ll have you know that my crew and my plane come first.”
“God, he loved flying with you Maverick. But he would’ve done it anyway… without you. He’d have hated it, but he would’ve done it.”
“Goose is dead.”
Famous Top Gun Quotes
“You fly jets long enough, something like this happens.”
“I can see it’s dangerous for you, but if the government trusts me, maybe you could.”
“It takes a lot more than just fancy flying.”
“How’s it feel to be on the front page of every newspaper in the English-speaking world, even though the other side denies the incident? Congratulations.”
“Great balls of fire!”
“Damn, this kid is good!”
“That was some of the best flying I’ve seen to date – right up to the part where you got killed.”
“This could be complicated.”
“I don’t know, but uh, it’s looking good so far.”
“She’s lost that loving feeling.”
“Aw sh… I hate it when she does that.”
“Two of your snot-nose jockeys did a fly-by on my tower at over 400 KNOTS! I want somebody’s butt, I want it now, I’ve HAD IT!”
Air Boss Johnson
“DAMN! That’s TWICE! I WANT SOME BUTTS!”
Maverick Top Gun Quotes
“I’ll fly with you”
“Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.”
“Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing.”
“Don’t screw around with me Maverick. You’re a hell of an instinctive pilot. Maybe too good.”
“Great, then I won’t have to worry about you making your living as a singer.”
“I’m going to need a beer to put these flames out.”
“I’ll have what he’s having. Hemlock, is it?”
“And if you screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!”
“I see some real genius in your flying, Maverick, but I can’t say that in there.”
“I was afraid that everyone in the TACTS trailer would see right through me, and I just don’t want anyone to know that I’ve fallen for you.”
“I thought of being an instructor, sir.”
“Top Gun? God help us.”
“Goddamn that guy.”
Air Boss Johnson
“First one dies, you die too. But there will be others. You can count it. You gotta let him go.”
“This is it, Maverick!”
“I’m gonna hit the brakes, he’ll fly right by.”
“You two really are cowboys.”
“I will fire when I am goddamn good and ready! You got that?”
“It’s the bottom of the 9th, the score is tied. It’s time for the big one.”
“In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque.”
“That’s pretty arrogant, considering the company you’re in.”
“I like that in a pilot.”
“Gentlemen… You had a hell of a first day.”
“Well, I guess when I see something I go right after it!”
“Good morning, gentlemen, the temperature is 110 degrees.”
“That spin was hell it would’ve shook me up.”
“This is what I call a target rich environment.”
“This is Ghost Rider 117, this bogey is all over me. He’s got missile lock on me. Do I have permission to fire?”
“Just wondering who’s the best.”
“Just remember, when it’s over out there, we’re all on the same team.”
“So you’re the one.”
“Remember, boys, no points for second place.”
“You’re a lot brighter than you look—”
“Great, he’s probably saying, “Holy shit, it’s Maverick and Goose.” ”
“Gutsiest move I ever saw, Mav.”
Your Favorite Top Gun Quotes
What are some of your favorite Top Gun quotes? Who is your favorite member of the Top Gun cast?
7 Ways You Can Change the World
I woke up at 4 a.m., and all I could think was “What am I doing with my life?” I was in my early 30s and living in the corporate world, working long hours with high levels of stress. I felt burned out and depleted. What happened? Growing up, I always dreamed I would change the world and make it a better place.
At that moment, I definitely didn’t feel like I was changing anything. I was just earning a paycheck. Just surviving. I didn’t have time to think about changing the world. I had deadlines to meet and never enough time for anything extra.
Does that sound familiar? Many people I know are in the same situation. How can you take on the problems of the world when there’s so much to do already? It can be overwhelming, no matter how good your intentions might be.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the world, just like you always thought you would. You can make a positive change. You can do meaningful deeds and make a positive impact on other people.
What’s more, when you do something meaningful, you do more than just change the world. You increase your own happiness. In 2009, psychology researcher Michael Steger found that meaningful work makes people happier and more effective in their daily lives. It turns out, people who work to change the world, also receive a great benefit from their efforts. So what can you do?
- Here Are 7 Ways You Can Help Change the World
- Where Do You Start? Two Questions to Ask Yourself Now
Here Are 7 Ways You Can Help Change the World
1. Start Small
You don’t have to take on everything at once, in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start small and just take the first step. This was the secret of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the founder of microfinance and microlending. Before he retired, Yunus helped thousands of people in poverty obtain business loans without collateral. He started with just $27.
Yunus surveyed people in his community about their needs and was shocked to learn that he could assist 42 people by lending just $27 of his own money. His first project was a success and he continued to build on it, finally creating Grameen Bank. By 1997, Grameen Bank had issued US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers, empowering others to build businesses and improve their own situations. Yunus went on to successfully lead several other initiatives to help the poor, starting small each time.
What small action can you take today? Take it. Small actions can build on each other but you need to take that first step.
2. Be a Good Neighbor
You don’t have to travel the world or live in Washington, DC to make an impact. You actually have the greatest knowledge and influence in your own backyard. This was the lesson learned by John Paul Flintoff, and he discussed it in his 2012 Ted Talk entitled “How to Change the World.”
Flintoff works to help protect the environment and prevent global warming. He realized he could make an immediate difference by reaching out to his neighbors. However, he did it not by overloading them with facts and research, but by giving them tomato plants. Every year, he offers his extra tomato seedlings to his neighbors. This simple and kind act started his neighbors growing some of their own food, thereby slightly reducing their environmental impact.
What’s something you can do in your own backyard?
“Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.” -Charles Eames
3. Highlight an Issue
Do you feel strongly about an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, or where change is slow? Become educated on the issue and what’s being done to address it. Then you can highlight the issue, advocate for change, share information with your friends and family. You can do it through modern social media, and even by writing good old-fashioned letters to your government representatives. Working on an issue like this, you can create a huge impact. Especially now with social media, your message can go viral on the internet, spreading the word even faster.
What issues are important to you? How can you help bring attention to those issues?
4. Pay it Forward and Practice Random Acts of Kindness
A small act of kindness creates a ripple effect that can carry from person to person, brightening many lives. From giving someone a smile to holding a door open for someone, doing chores for other people, donating to charity, or buying lunch for a friend, it doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day a little bit better.
Research has also found that performing these simple acts of kindness increases feelings of happiness and positivity. One study even found that “acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.”
I had a friend who passed away a few years ago who used to buy coffee for the people in the car behind him at the drive-through. He received immense joy from knowing he just gave someone a nice surprise and had no expectation of anything in return.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -Mother Teresa
5. Let Your Values Guide Your Spending and Know Who You’re Doing Business With
Support companies that have fair trade practices and that have a triple bottom line — people, planet, and profit (not just profit). Take the time to learn about the companies where you do business. Does your bank use ethical business practices? What types of projects do they fund? What goes into making your favorite products?
Let your money make a statement. While it may not seem like a lot, if enough people redirect their spending based on unethical or unsustainable practices, businesses will change and evolve to meet the demand. If you spend according to your own personal values, you’ll make a statement and also find more harmony with your money.
Make a list of the products and services you buy most? Do their business practices align with your values? Are there other options?
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi
6. Pray or Meditate
While this seems like an internal change, prayer and meditation have also been shown to have a positive effect on your surrounding area. The Maharishi Effect indicates that there is a correlation between meditation and societal harmony. For example, several studies have documented a reduction in crime rates in communities where at least one percent of the population practices transcendental meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool to bring internal peace us as individuals, but it may also benefit those around us.
Do you have a daily prayer or meditation practice? If not, try it for 10 days and feel the difference it makes in your own life, and possibly in the lives of others.
7. Be Authentic in Everything You Do
You have a unique value and perspective on life and that makes you inherently beautiful and amazing. No one else in the universe is like you. You are one of a kind. Bring your true, authentic self to every situation, and you may find it’s just what was needed. Authenticity creates higher levels of empowerment, creativity, and overall well-being — a great place to be when helping others.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
Identify ways you can begin to align your thoughts with your actions, increasing your authenticity. Make a list and work to create greater harmony between the two.
Where Do You Start? Two Questions to Ask Yourself Now
So how do you know where to start? John Paul Flintoff posed two questions to the audience in his 2012 Ted Talk about where to begin:
1. What would you do if you knew you could do anything and wouldn’t fail? This question helps you think big without the negative doubts or self-talk. I recently posted this question to my community and some of the answers I got back included curing AIDS, eradicating malaria, working with DNA to prevent illness, and writing a best-selling novel. What beautiful goals. Dream big — what would you do?
2. What is one thing you can start doing toward that goal within the next 24 hours? Big goals can be daunting, but focusing only the next action allows you to make progress without feeling overwhelmed. Don’t wait – begin with just one small step and keep it up. Before you know it, you’ll have moved mountains.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank
Now it’s your turn. What things are you doing to make the world a better place? Share your thoughts below.
Great article by Monica Bourgeau Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifeohm
The Old Carpenter’s Story- A Wise Life Lesson
You are the carpenter of your life.
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire, and he told his boss of his plans to leave and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, he could get by, but he needed to retire. The contractor was sorry to see a good worker go, and he asked the carpenter to build just one more house as a personal favor.
The carpenter said yes but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, the contractor come to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. ” This is your house,” the contractor said. “It’s my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into building. Then with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built.
If we could do it all over again, we would do it much differently. But we cannot go back!
But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!
One Very Special Seed!
One Very Special Seed!
An emperor in the far east was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing his assistant or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day and said ” It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you”.The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”.
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story.
She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks.. 4weeks.. 5weeks.. went by. Still, nothing, By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however, he just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s mother told him to bring the empty pot and be honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all sizes and shapes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him, a few felt sorry for him and just said: “Hey nice try”.
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide at the back. ” What a great plant. trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front, Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”.
When Ling got to the front, the emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling, ” He replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, ” Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?! Then the emperor said, ” One year ago, I gave everyone here a seed, I told you to take the seed, plant it water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling. have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”…
Our Very Special Seed is a story of courage and honesty. Never Stop Being You is a poem of motivation.
Parable of the Pencil
Parable of the Pencil
Pencil will become the best pencil it can be.. only if ..
Parable of the Pencil is a motivating story. One Very Special Seed! is another refreshing story of courage honesty.
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