Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reminders of the American Dream

I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful Indian man from Calcutta last night. I was at a stop light in DC. He was the cab driver. The long pause between 'red' and 'green' gave me the opportunity to ask where he was from in India, and this was the story he told me...
He and his wife - with their firstborn son - came to the United States from Calcutta in 1982. Calcutta was no longer the 'Paris of India' that it used to be back in the late 1800's. Like many great locations, it had descended into poverty and corruption over the years, so he found a path to bring himself and his family to another land of freedom and potentials for himself and his children - the United States. Once in the U.S., he found a position as Manager of a gas station, and worked happily there for years. He and his wife had another son. He worked and saved to make sure his children could receive a quality education. Today, one son is a Nuclear Medicine Specialist in the Medical industry, and the other is a government Accountant. This Indian gentleman has since left his job, but wanted to continue working and meeting people as a 'cabbie' in DC. He did not want to take money from his sons.
I told him he must be a wonderful father, and he thanked me for the kind praise. "You know", he said, "my boys are still worried that I work too much." As I thought of something to say, he held up a piece of paper with his start time jotted down, and he continued, "They restricted me to 3 hours a night."
Then, turning back to me with a wink, he added, "I'm glad they still think I'm a wonderful father, too."

Take time at stop lights to share a story and a wink. It will leave both of you smiling.


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