simone knego

In a World of Chaos, Choose Kindness and Integrity

Kindness and integrity are incredibly valuable in today’s world.

Too often, there are people who focus so much on what they want that they are sometimes willing to let their kindness and integrity slip in order to get it.

We see it in the media, in Hollywood, in politics, in business, and even in our own communities.

That’s why these two characteristics are so important to me.

Kindness and integrity matter.

As I was traveling for work this past week, I had a unique experience that got me thinking about the power of kindness and integrity.

Quite honestly, it was something that had never happened to me before.

While at the airport, I called an Uber to take me to my hotel. But it was taking what seemed like forever for them to come.

So, I tried again to book another Uber, but they still didn’t come.

After wasting so much time, I decided to just get a taxi instead.

The taxi driver was super nice and got me to my hotel safe and sound.

After a long day, I appreciated the kindness that he showed me and the help that he gave me.

It may have just been a car ride, but he provided something that I couldn’t do for myself. I had no car, and his simple ride to my hotel brought so much relief.

We were strangers, but his kindness really mattered to me.

Life doesn’t always go as planned.

When we got to the hotel, I was exhausted from the flight and from waiting so long for a ride. All I wanted to do was to just get checked in and get to my room.

So, I got out of the taxi, got all checked in at the desk, got up to my room, and noticed I had no cell phone.

Of course, I panicked and ran back to the front desk to see if it was there.

I was going to be gone for four nights, and without a cell phone, it would be really difficult for me.

I had everything on my phone. And while it was true that I could access some things from my computer, it wasn’t the same.

When I got to the front desk, my phone wasn’t there.

The first question they asked me was, “Well, what taxi company did you use?”

And I had no idea. I got into a taxi, got out of the taxi, and didn’t once pay attention to what taxi company it was.

I am usually pretty aware and pretty focused on what I am doing. But with all that had happened, my focus was just on getting to the hotel.

Because I had no idea what the name of the taxi company was, the hotel staff said they couldn’t really help me.

And with that, I was on my own.

The kindness and integrity of another rescued me.

When I got back up to my room, I started to really panic because I had no way to contact people.

As a side note, we have no idea how incredibly convenient and safe it feels to have a phone that you can use to connect with others just with the touch of a button.

But when you no longer have that, and you are in an unfamiliar place, you suddenly feel a little more helpless and alone.

I tried to use my computer to look up my credit card balance to see if it had the name of the taxi company on it.

But for security reasons, it kept sending messages to my phone and wouldn’t send them to my computer, so I had no luck there.

Thankfully, most hotels still have landlines, so I called my eldest son and said, “Okay, help me. What do I do?”

He told me to go onto Find My iPhone, lock out my phone, and put a message on it asking anyone who found it to either call his cell phone or bring it to my hotel.

I was really skeptical that it would work. I mean, even if someone did find it, what was the incentive to bring it back? It would be so much easier to ignore the message.

And why go out of your way to help someone that you have no idea who they are?

But I was wrong.

Less than five minutes later, my son got a call from the taxi driver who said he was going to bring it right up to the hotel.

What we do and say can make a big difference.

Five minutes after the phone call with my son, the taxi driver showed up with my phone.

I was pleasantly surprised and so very thankful.

I had a whole $23 in my purse because I never carry cash anymore. I tried to tip him with this to show him my gratitude, but he wouldn’t take it.

I offered it to him three times, but he just kept saying, “No, no, no…it was my pleasure.”

I was so incredibly grateful. The loss of my phone could have been such a huge mess for my trip.

But the crisis was averted because this man was a good human.

He wasn’t looking for anything in exchange for his good deed. He just did what he felt was right.

I’m sure he could have used the money—we all can use extra money.

But he didn’t want it. He just wanted to do what was right, and that was enough for him.

The world needs a lot more kindness and integrity.

This experience was such a huge lesson for me.

So many times, we do things because we feel like we have to. Or we don’t do things because we just don’t want to do them.

But we don’t really think about the overall impact our actions can have on somebody else.

And this may sound kind of silly because it was just a cell phone.

But to be honest, my cell phone has everything. It has all of my kids’ information. It has my financial information. It even had the itinerary of where I was going for the week, which wasn’t on my computer.

So many things I thought I had lost were returned to me when he returned that cell phone. His bringing it back made such a huge difference in my life.

For lack of better words, I was able to breathe again.

Forget about him not taking the tip, even just taking time out of his work day to bring my phone back to me was huge.

It truly made me appreciate this stranger who became an important part of my story.

How are you showing up in another person’s story?

I have always said that every single one of us has a story to share. But this experience made me see things in a new light.

What I mean by this is that not only do we each have a story to share, but we also have the ability to play an important part in the stories of the people around us.

This experience has helped me recognize the importance of doing what I can to help those around me.

It has also helped me recognize just how much our kindness and integrity can change the life of another.

I’m not saying that bringing my cell phone back was the most impactful thing of my life. But, in that moment, it was huge. And it really changed the next four days of my life.

I don’t think we realize how our kindness and integrity can make such a huge difference in the everyday moments of others.

Sometimes, we ignore things because we don’t think they are going to make a difference—but they actually do.

Every choice that we make makes a difference to someone. And sometimes that someone can even be ourselves.

So, here are some questions for you.

How are your actions showing up in another person’s story?

Are you leading with kindness and integrity in your interactions with others?

How are you making a difference in the life of another?

Your kindness and integrity towards another may just change their life.

That is something we need to always remember.

My invitation to you is to live every day with kindness and integrity.

Because you never know whose story needs an everyday hero like you.

Meet Simone Knego

Simone Knego is an international speaker, award-winning author and two-time TEDx Speaker. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS and in Entrepreneur Magazine and Yahoo News. Her literary contributions have been honored by the National Indie Excellence Award and the NYC Big Book Award. Simone has not only summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, but she is also the heart of a bustling household with six children, three dogs, and one husband of 31 years. As the creator of the REAL Method, Simone continues to inspire and impact teams, fostering growth, and promoting self-discovery. 

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