Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Cab Ride


Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.

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, 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 80's 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 knickknacks or utensils on the


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, 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 I

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, 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


I looked in the rear-view 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


"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said.

"Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, 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


On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important

in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others

may consider a small one.



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