“This is John. John was my Uber driver on my way to the airport in Palm Springs, California yesterday.
I asked him if I could sit in the front seat. He wasn’t expecting it. ‘Of course!’ he replied.
As we drove, he asked me, ‘Why are you traveling?’ I told him it was for work. Then, he asked if I was about 28 years old. I said about 27.
He told me I reminded him of his daughter and that we share the same kind heart. That’s why he had asked me these questions.
The next thing he said filled my eyes with tears. I brushed them away so he couldn’t see. John’s daughter passed away unexpectedly at 29 years old. She left behind a 4-year-old son.
He couldn’t resuscitate her. He tried to breathe life into his daughter’s lifeless body. But he found her far too late.
‘I wish I could’ve done more. Why couldn’t I bring her back?’
We talked like we’d known each other our whole lives on our 25-minute drive to the airport.
As we arrived, I looked over at him, tears rolling down his cheeks. My heart melted into my stomach.
He looked over at me and said, ‘I’m so sorry for all of this. I have never met someone so kindhearted, so friendly, and so non-judge mental. I wish I could hug you, but I know so many people who don’t like hugs. So I just want to tell you thank you.’
He patted my forearm and said, ‘Please never let the world make you hard. Keep smiling that heartwarming smile. Keep being kind to strangers… because you’ve shown me the kindness a stranger can give in just 25 minutes and I hope you know how much it’s meant to me.’
I smiled and stepped out of the car to get my luggage. Because that’s all I could do without letting all of my tears pour out right then and there into his arms.
He took out my luggage for me.
I looked at him, and said, ‘I love hugs. I will happily take a hug, John.’
So we hugged right there in front of the airport. People quickly passing by, rolling their luggage, in a hurry every hour of the day.
He squeezed my shoulder, ‘Take care of yourself, Erin. You never know what hardships people have endured, especially behind a smiling face like I’ve masked myself behind for so long. Thank you, sweet girl.’
I stepped to the curb with my luggage, watched him open his door, and couldn’t shake the feeling. I yelled, ‘JOHN!’
He turned swiftly with a smile on his face, ‘YES?’
‘Um… I uh, want to… Can I take a picture with you? I want to show my family, my husband, the world, the kind human I met in you today.’
He smiled again, ‘Of course, sweetie. That would mean so much to me.’
So, we snapped this picture. And I will cash it in my bank of memories forever.
Be a kind human. Always. Show compassion, have a listening ear, ask someone about their day, smile at strangers, say hi in the grocery store, show small acts of kindness throughout your life, start up a conversation with your Uber driver. It may mean more to them and help them more than you could ever imagine.”
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Erin Barsness of Mama Bear Bliss. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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