Have we all gotten busy ?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Life is too busy. We forget to smell the roses in front of our yard but we are chasing to build an English garden.

Recently my brother send me an email, I cried. It is so ironic, through my father disease, my brother and I have become closer.

These are straight from my garden and I hope you will smell the roses through your monitor, they smell really good !

Most of the times I delete most forward email but this one I kept it. 2 reasons : 1 is from my macho brother who only forward Malaysia politics jokes to me (which I think they are nonsense anyway but don't tell him if you know him.); 2 , this email relates to me because recently I was so touched by the hospital driver.

I parked in a parking lot that did not belong to the hospital I did my clinical rotation. The parking lot provides shuttle bus only till 9pm. After the time, you are on your own. I don't mind to walk when I get out because weather is not so hot in the afternoon when I arrived. Then one night it rained so heavily (if you have not live in Florida, you really don't know what kind of rain we have here, worst than Malaysian rains). Anyway, I decided to hop on the hospital bus, the driver asked me where did I park my car, I told him xxx street's road side. He said he had to drop off the other passengers before he got to my street. I said 'No problem'. When he drop off the last passenger. He asked me "Dear, where do you park your car ?". I said " Just drop me anywhere along this street.". He said "Dear, I am asking you where did you park your car ?". I wanted to tell him, none of his business but I did not. I said "Sir, it is very far away, at the motel parking lot.". He said: "Dear, I am going to drive you there." I said " Sir, are you sure, it is not in your bus route." He said, " Dear, I am not going to let any of my passengers walked in the rain or in the dark.". I said " Ok, thank you so very mcuh.". He took me all the way to my car and did not leave me until I closed my door. What a man and he is an elderly black man !.. So, don't ever be racist, there are good in black, red, yellow and white and vise versa.

Just let me ask you one intimidating question : Have you taken 10minutes of your time this week to help someone whom you know need your help ?

What are the most important thing in your life if you are to take your last breath tonight ?

Well, this is an email my little brother send me (he is not that little,he is in his early 40's).


Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One night I took a fare at 2 :30 am , when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk onc

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 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, 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, 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 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 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 our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people.

But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend...

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Life is to live today not tomorrow !