Listening & Making a Difference!
I love visiting new places, meeting new people and hearing their stories and once I tell people I am a storyteller, it is quite fascinating how they too want to share their stories with me.
I was visiting Stanford University to tell stories in a very unusual setting. It was quite the experience, in one of the dorms with the lights dimmed and with everyone in their PJ’s having a cup of hot chocolate & marshmallows ready for story time.
Upon arrival in Santa Cruz I hopped into a taxi and met a very loquacious driver who once he heard my occupation immediately asked if he could share a story with me.
He said it made him realize how we all needed to share our lives and how we can make a difference when we really listen to each other.
For years, twice weekly, he had picked up a passenger and ferried her to various doctors’ appointments.
This particular evening he picked her up from the clinic as usual, but she wasn’t in a hurry to go home and she asked him to drive around and show him her city “one final time”.
When they got to her home she gave him a huge tip and said, ”don’t bother coming by this week, I will no longer need your services.
He didn’t know how to respond but he asked her if he could come in for a cup of tea. She said yes and he went inside her home.
He immediately noticed pictures on the mantle piece -pictures of her sister and her nieces and she told him she had not spoken to her family in over 15 years. There had been a long ago quarrel; the details long forgotten but she always kept the pictures in sight. She also pointed out she had the telephone number of her sister (who lived in New York) right there beside the pictures, handy, in case she ever decided to put aside her pride and make a call but now it was too late.
While she was in the kitchen he picked up the phone and made the call to the number. He introduced himself and said he was very worried and didn’t quite know what to do.
Her sister asked him to wait and advised him her daughter lived not too far away.
The family had not known her address or her number and she was so grateful for the call.
In about half an hour the doorbell rang. It was her niece at the door and my taxi driver admitted to his client that he had made the call, as he was worried about her.
Tears, hugs and more tears and finally he left his client and went on home.
He told me that he finally met her sister who is forever grateful he took the time to make that call and got involved. Now he is a member of the family and is invited to all family functions.
So we never know when or how we too can make a difference.
Listen to the stories. Stories matter.