This story was sent in by one of our readers who tells about a good deed of a stranger.
A few days ago my water bottle opened in my backpack and killed my cellphone. It is totally dead, may it rest in peace, and I was left with no phone whatsoever— other than a payphone. This is a very disconcerting feeling— suddenly loosing communication with friends, family, and lovers. Like disappearing from the world.
I went to the phone store today hoping that the issue would be a quick fix and that at the very worst I’d have to by a cheap new phone. However, I’m on an old family plan that’s not compatible with ANYTHING out there, and in order for me to get a new phone, everyone in my family would have had to upgrade to the new plan, renew it for two years, and get new phones. This would have also required the presence of my father in that very Cingular store for him to sign contracts. In short: it was an impossible option. Besides that option, I could go on my own phone plan… which would cost four times as much as what I have with my family. ALSO NOT FEASIBLE OPTION!
After talking with some folks, I discovered something of a loophole. All I had to do was buy a cheap phone and then purchase a code that would unlock the phone and allow it to work with my family plan/service. I went back to the phone store to by the cheapest phone I could find. 19.95.
However, I soon found out that the price was so low because it was part of the service. There was nothing I could do… I had to suck it up, since you HAVE to have a phone in these days.
“How much is it without the plan, then?” I asked the man who had been helping me all afternoon. I could pay. “$125.”
Ok, so….poor college kid that I am… I couldn’t pay. Once again, I was sent back to the drawing board… and still phone-less. I thanked the man kindly for his help, wished him a good evening, and left the store.
Upset and not feeling like heading immediately home, I stepped into another store to look at and try on some pretty things- convinced that it would make me feel better. I had a few things in my arms and was heading to the dressing room when I heard…. “That’s a pretty dress.”
I turned around. It was him! Phone Store Man! He was standing there awkwardly… with a phone in his hand, which was shaking slightly. “This is my phone.” He said. “I mean– my old phone.” He stepped closer. “And this is what you do….”
He pointed out the serial number and told me how to find an unlocked code…. and he gave me the phone. He wouldn’t accept any cash or anything….. the only thing he said was… “Just promise me that you’ll do good things for other people, too….” And then he disappeared.
It is unbelievable how fast time goes by. It is now March, 2008 and it has been over a year since I started the Honesty Blog. Many thanks to everyone that shared their stories about honesty and good deeds, voted for their favorite stories and shared their comments. So even though it is a few months into the year, I thought it was about time for me to post my first personal story for 2008.
Last month, I was in New York City for some meetings. We decided to find a brunch place a friend of mine had highly recommended. So we took a taxi towards Midtown and pretty soon found ourselves passing the street of the restaurant. We didn’t know exactly where it was, nor did our taxi driver. With so many thousands of restaurants, I can imagine it’s quite challenging for taxi drivers to keep up with all the restaurants. So we told him he could just drop us off and we would find our way since it was a one-way street.
While we were walking, I reached into my pocket for my gloves just to find one of them missing. I had dropped the glove inside the taxi! Thoughts rushed through my head as I also felt the bitter cold wind on my hands. They were not new gloves, but they did serve the purpose, and I really didn’t want to have to look for a new pair. All of a sudden, we heard a man yelling from across the street. It was our taxi driver! He had stopped his car in the street and walked back to tell us we were walking in the wrong direction. I was totally surprised and so impressed that our taxi driver cared enough to come back and point us in the right direction. As you can imagine, I ran across the street to thank him and to also let him know my glove was somewhere on the back seat. Thanks to the kindness of the cab driver, I was not only able to get my glove back, but I also made it for one of the best brunches I’ve had in a long time.
Later in the day, as I thought about the lost glove incident and it reminded me of the website project a Carnegie Mellon University art student, Jennifer Gooch, started called One Cold Hand?. The purpose of the site was to create a place where people from all over the world could report and find lost gloves. The founder describes the site as:
“onecoldhand.com is a project that connects the Pittsburgh community through one unfortunate event – the loss of a glove. The website creates a method for dealing with the conundrum of finding these lost articles. Do you leave it and hope the owner comes back to find it? Do you pick it up? Throw it away? With onecoldhand.com, the abandoned object now becomes a symbol of benevolence and hope.”
I especially like her last sentence “With onecoldhand.com, the abandoned object now becomes a symbol of benevolence and hope.” Many people might have never associated the loss of a glove with benevolence and hope, but I can tell you that had I not found my glove and later came across it on her site, I would have been very happy. It also would have made me feel encouraged to know someone took the time out of their busy schedule to do something for a complete stranger and I would want to do the same for someone else.
This story sent in by one of our readers is a great reminder of how words of kindness can make a great difference in a persons’s day. Have you spoken a kind word to someone today?
There’s a story that sticks out in my mind even though the event happened 5 years ago. My wife was standing in line at a register waiting her turn, barely aware of a conversation behind her. “Go on,” she heard a woman tell her companion before there was a tentative tap on her shoulder. My wife, Kathleen, turned to find a kindly faced older gentleman and woman awaiting her attention.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” the man opened, “but my wife and I were just discussing you.” Curious, my wife smiled and waited for the man to continue, “and we felt it would be a shame not to take the time to let you know how beautiful we think you are.” Just lovely,” the woman interjected, “classical beauty.”
“Please don’t be alarmed, we just wanted to tell you.” My wife blushed, grinned, tossed back an “awwww! You’re so sweet! Thanks!” and then it was her turn at the register. A friendly wave on her way out the door was the last they saw of each other but that brief moment left my wife smiling for the rest of the day.
It was just a few seconds out of the lives of 3 people but it stands out as such a notable moment in my mind for its honesty, sincerity and impact. My wife’s beauty is a simple fact, but there are dozens of things about any of us warranting compliments. How often does anybody really go out of their way to give them, though? This wonderful couple, who could have behaved like most of us and simply kept their thoughts to themselves, took the time to stop a complete stranger just to let them know – there’s something special about you, we noticed, and we wanted you to know. There was nothing in it for them. They’d nothing to gain, but they did it anyway and my wife’s day was made for their act.
For my own random compliment I’d like to thank Joel for taking the time to put up this blog and keep it going. I stumbled across Honesty Blog on a bad day, much in need of some uplifting, and the site delivered. I’ve been a stealth reader but thought it high time I contribute something. Thank you for taking the time to share uplifting news and stories, Joel! It’s served to brighten my day many times.
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen. It is one of those good deed stories that will reverberate for many years to come. The story is inspiring and it is hard not to watch it without tearing up…in a good way!
I will briefly set the stage for this story and then leave you to watch the video for yourself. It was the second game of a doubleheader between Central Washington and Western Oregon, and Sara Tucholsky was up to bat. She stepped up to the plate and slammed a homerun over the centerfield fence – her first ever in high school or college. This is the kind of moment all players dream about – making the great play that leads to victory. The problem was that Sara tore her ACL at first base and collapsed to the ground unable to continue to second base.
First baseman Mallory Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace from the opposing team asked if there was a rule that would prevent them from helping injured Sara around the bases in order to complete the homerun. They were assured there was no rule that would prevent them from helping the opposing team’s batter. So they carried her around the bases making sure she touched each base and finally touched down at home plate.
Some labeled this story true sportsmanship, but I think this definition stops short of defining the selfless actions of Mallory and Liz. Even though their team the Wildcats was eliminated, they won something far greater that day. Enjoy watching this inspirational and compelling story.
A friend of mine forwarded me a story about a lost violin that later was found and returned by an honest taxi cab driver. You may be wondering why someone would be traveling with a violin, but you might be even more puzzled to learn the violin is valued at over $4 million dollars. Yes, you read that correct – it’s a Stradivarius . I’ll be honest, I had no idea such a violin existed before reading this story by Rich G. Jones from the New York Times.
The Grammy-nominated Philippe Quint was on his way back from a concert in Dallas and simply forgot the violin in the cab. On top of the fact that it was a $4 million dollar violin, it had been loaned to him by two benefactors. The part of this story that I find the most remarkable is what Philippe thanked the honest taxi cab driver.
In addition to a generous tip, he decided to thank the driver Mohammed Khalil by treating him and his colleagues to a private concert. It may have not been Carnegie Hall, but the makeshift parking lot where Philippe performed for them was soon filled with beautiful music accompanied by spontaneous applause, clapping, whistling and dancing.
One of the drivers commented, “If one cabby does something good, we feel like we all do something good”. Especially in this occasion, Mr. Khalil and his colleagues all had the chance to enjoy Phillip’s thank-you concert. It was a memorable occasion that for year to come they will be talking about all thanks to the honesty of one driver and the very generous gratitude shown by Philippe Quint.
I am certain many drivers never will get this kind attention or even a Medallion by the City of Newark. Like Mr. Khalil said, “Everything we find is valuable to someone”. I would add that every act of honesty no matter how small it might seem can make a great difference in a person’s life.