"Mansoor Khalid, a 37 year old electrical engineer from Pakistan has been driving a yellow cab in New York City since 1996. In 2010, his son, Saad, was born with a congenital heart defect. When Mr. Khalid visited him in the hospital after his night shift, he would bring coffee for the doctors and nurses there, who called him “coffee man.” “My average was 20 bucks every night, for coffee and sweets,” he said. Last April, Saad passed away at 18 months old. When Mr. Khalid returned to work, he decided to turn his cab into a "rolling celebration". He spends $300 a month keeping the back dashboard stocked with sweets for his passengers. From his experience in the hospital with his son, Mr. Khalid learned that giving to others could at least hide, if not heal his own feeling of loss. "I like to buy something for people; I feel good," Mr. Khalid said. "When you give something from your hand, you feel very good, when someone gives a smile." Since then, his cab has become an internet celebrity. His loyal online following supplies a steady stream of customers, with frequent requests for pickups from fans who send their locations to him via Twitter or Facebook. But don’t expect the 13,000 other yellow taxis to follow suit any time soon. The $300 a month Mr. Khalid spends on candy would probably be a deal-breaker for most cabbies. “If you think about it, you have to wonder why he does it,” said Juan Miranda, who drives Mr. Khalid’s cab during the day. “The way it is now, every time I brake, it falls forward.” “Everybody is depressed, stressed, New York City is not an easy life, so when New Yorkers see all the candies, chocolates, they cheer up," Mr. Khalid explained. “Some people start screaming, they’re so happy.”*
Some might argue that what Mr. Khalid does could be redirected. Perhaps he could put that money into heart research or donate it to the March of Dimes. These were, quite honestly my first judgemental thoughts. Then I thought about his generosity, and decided that a generous heart should never be judged. His gifts come from a need to share the sweet, not the bitter from his life's experience. For him to have lost his child and want to bring pleasure to others at all is stunning. For him to see the stress in the faces of those he serves and want to ease the burdens of others is touching. For him to not worry about his $300 a month candy budget and revel in the joy he brings is Godlike.
It is the "minor" news stories that teach us. It is the small actions that feed us. It is the decision made by one to share the sweetness through his sadness that inspires us. It is gentleness that comforts us, and joy that fills us. My sincere condolences to Mr. Khalid and his family. My deepest gratitude to them also, for being the face of God in today's "news".
*Note: This is a paraphrased summary with excerpts from the original article, which was printed in the New York Times (New York edition, page A21) on May 16, 2013. - See more at: http://www.kindspring.org/story/view.php?sid=52719#sthash.Wbp4Icyt.dpuf