Lesson from a Taxi driver
I learnt this lesson recently when after an unpleasant management meeting I travelled to a place in a taxi. I was internally disturbed and the ride which usually takes a half hour, took longer. I was irritated by the events in the meeting and also angry at a few people. I tried to relax but found it difficult as my mind, agitated by the preceding events, grumbled on.
In my troubled state, I noticed the roads were overcrowded with cars blaring their horns and pedestrians rushing on the roads, in utter disregard to traffic rules. However my driver was sensitive to not honk at other vehicles. I was surprised to see my cabbie patient with the traffic. After we reached the destination, I paused to thank him for his considerate driving. I also confessed that I was disturbed and that his quiet tolerance of other vehicles helped me reorganize myself mentally. He felt elated. He profusely thanked me for appreciating him and then made a candid confession. When he started the car, he had seen me from his rear view mirror and realized I was piqued at something. He consciously chose to please me and was glad it helped me. I felt touched and thanked him again. Soon we parted, never to meet again.
That very instant I felt all my frustration evaporate. Offering genuine appreciation and receiving kindness in return had a magical effect on my consciousness. The rest of the day passed on smoothly as other services engulfed my mind.
That evening I reflected on if, an occasional positive exchange with a stranger made me so happy, what incredible treasure await me if I make appreciation a regular practise with people who matter to me? If we allow thankfulness to be a one off experience, our lives won’t change much because the tempest of negativity and cynicism, which is the reality of this world, will swallow us. We need to consistently choose to appreciate, and only then will we have control over our lives.
A simple example: you may be really keen to get something but do you think you’d be happy if you owned it? Probably yes, but to sustain your happiness you’d have to grow beyond possessing it; it’s only when we can appreciate what we have, rather than simply obtain it, that we actually own that thing.
We also need to remember that appreciation is not an isolated practise. We have to integrate it with patience and fortitude; patience to hold on till God reciprocates, and heroic courage to face criticism or lack of reciprocation from others. But if we are sincere everything will soon fall into place; the world is an echo and we eventually get back what we give.To be continued….