Sometimes a simple act of kindness can restore your faith. Such an act happened to me yesterday, and I would like to share it.
After doing some shopping in Sunny Isle, I hailed a taxi for the ride to the Golden Rock Shopping Center near my home in Orange Grove. When I got out of the taxi bus, I grabbed my packages but forgot my shoulder bag containing personal information and did not realize I had lost it until I walked through the door of my home.
In a panic, I began to retrace my steps and realized where I must have left the bag. With no way to contact the driver, I figured it was a lost cause and I was saddened at my loss.
I remembered, however, that the taxi driver was listening to Mario Moorhead's radio program as the word "Beloved" echoed in my head. I called Mr. Moorhead on the air, and he allowed me to describe the bag and the items it contained along with what the taxi looked like.
Five minutes after I got off the air with Mr. Moorhead, I realized just how popular he and his show are here on St. Croix. I received a call from my "beloved" driver who said he had my bag. The driver, Cosmas Laurent (CP 303), met me at the Pueblo and returned my bag to me completely intact.
His honesty and integrity, I have found, is not unique among the taxi drivers of our island home. Having lived here for a number of years and being without a car, I have had occasion to use the taxi buses quite a bit. It has been my experience that most of the drivers exhibit the same kind of integrity and kindness Mr. Laurent showed.
It made me reflect on some unkind letters I read in The Avis and elsewhere about these hard-working members of our community, and it saddened me that people only write about the problems they experience, even though they are few and far between. No one writes when they are happy about the job these drivers do.
We celebrate our sports heroes for doing well. We give out Emmy Awards, Grammys, Tonys and Oscars to celebrities who excel on television, in music, in the theater and in films, respectively. We give gold medals to our Olympic stars. But no one takes the time to say "well done" or even "thank you" for the kindnesses we see in our everyday lives.
Mr. Moorhead commented that I had some bad luck yesterday prior to recovering my bag (with his and Mr. Laurent's help), but the truth is that I am truly blessed in my life with a loving family, good friends and the chance to live in this beautiful island paradise. I hope that losing my bag (as bad and upsetting as it was at the time) is the worst thing that ever happens to me.
After the tragic events of Sept. 11, I have seen the blessings in my life in a new light. I am taking the time to say "thank you." Christmas is difficult for me with my family and many friends being far away from me, but the people here ease that sense of loneliness in so many ways.
And so, as Christmas Day approaches, and having just been bathed in the warmth of Ramadan and Hanukkah, I wanted to publicly say "Thank you" to Mr. Moorhead and Mr. Laurent for their kindness yesterday but also to express my gratitude to everyone in my life for the blessings I have been given. I expect to be on the phone a lot over the next few days!
And to the people of the Virgin Islands, no matter what holiday of peace and light you celebrate at this time of the year, thank you for the warmth of your spirit. It is clear that it is not the balmy breezes or the temperature that make this "America's Paradise." It is the generosity of spirit of its people. Thank you!
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