A cabbie’s honesty

Value- Truth

Sub value- Honesty


Shiv Khera, a renowned author and management trainer, writes about his experience in Singapore :

Six years ago in Singapore, I gave a cab driver a business card, to take me to a particular address.Soon we arrived at the specified address, he circled around the building before coming to a halt. His meter read 11$, but he took only 10$.

I said, “Henry, your meter reads 11$, how come you are taking only 10$?”

He said, “Sir, I am a cab driver. I am supposed to be bringing you straight to the destination. Since I did not know the right drop-off spot, I had to circle around the building. Had I brought you straight here, the meter would have read 10$. Why should you be paying for my ignorance?”

He continued, “Sir, legally I can claim 11$ but honestly and ethically I am entitled to only 10$.”

He further added that Singapore is a tourist destination. Many people come here, for three or four days. After clearing the immigration and customs, the first experience is always with the cab driver and if that is not good, the balance three to four days are not pleasant either.

He then said, “Sir, I am not just a cab driver. I am the Ambassador of Singapore, without a diplomatic passport.”

In my opinion, he probably did not go to school beyond the 8th grade, but to me he was a professional. To me, his behavior reflected pride in Performance and Character.

That day I learnt, that one needs more than professional qualification, to be a professional.


In one line…”Be a professional with a Human touch and Values”…that makes all the more difference. Knowledge, Skill, Money, Education, all comes later. First comes Human Values, Honesty and Integrity, as displayed by the cab driver. A cultured person is one who has good thoughts and good conduct. Man has no doubt mastered many ways of accumulating wealth and amassing fortune, yet happiness eludes him. Why? Because his conduct is not proper. For good conduct, virtues are most essential. A virtuous person can accomplish anything. Without virtues, life ceases to have any meaning. Good conduct should be the real basis for life.

Note– The above is a real life experience. I also have recently experienced a similar incident in Singapore when the cabbie missed one exit and took a longer route; as soon as he realized that, he stopped his meter and charged me exactly what would be needed for my destination. Kudos to these honest cabbies.

The Movie Ticket

Value- Truth

Sub value- Honesty

Once, a lady took her two kids to see a movie. Walking up to the ticket counter she asked, “How much does the ticket cost?” The booking clerk replied, “Rs.50 for you and for children above 5 years. Children under five years are allowed to see the movie free of cost. How old are you children?”


The lady said, “One is three years old and the other one is six years old so I need two tickets.” And she gave hundred rupees to the booking clerk. The booking clerk replied, “If you would have told me that your child is 5 years old who would have known and you could have easily saved 50 rupees.”

The lady replied, “Nobody else would have known, but my children would have surely known that I am lying. I don’t want to teach them dishonesty.”


Parents and especially mothers are the first teachers of the children. The children look upon to them to learn the values. So it becomes the prime duty of parents to follow the values that they want to impart to their children. Parents right behaviour and attitude can go a long way in the proper upbringing of a child.

In challenging times, when ethics are more important than ever before, we must make sure that we set a good example for our family as well as with everyone we work and live with.

Good and bad are within us

Value- Truth/Optimism

Sub value- Purity of mind/ Fearlessness


During the exile of the Pandavas, Krishna visited them to enquire about their welfare. He spent a night with them. The Panbdavas had to undergo untold suffering during their exile. As Draupadi was also with them, they would keep vigil in turns for one hour each, every night. Krishna also volunteered to keep vigil for one hour.

Dharmaja wondered, “When You are the protector of the entire universe, what is the meaning in your standing sentry for an hour to protect us?” Yet he cautioned Krishna: “Krishna, beware of the devil – my brothers and I encounter it every night. On many occasions it has tried to attack us. Therefore, we pray to you not to do a turn in guard duty. You have come to enquire about our welfare. We should not put you in danger. Kindly take rest.” Krishna replied, “Dharmaja, is this what you have understood of my divinity? On the one hand you extol me as the protector of the entire universe and on the other you are apprehensive that I cannot protect myself. You are worried that the demon will harm me. Rest assured that no demon can touch me. Therefore, permit me also to join you all in doing the security duty.”

Having completed one hour duty, Krishna sat on a rock and was smiling to himself. It was Arjuna’s turn next. He rushed to Krishna, a bit worried that the demon might have attacked him. Seeing Krishna smiling, Arjuna fell at His feet and enquired whether he had vanquished the demon. Krishna replied, “Arjuna, I have never created demons and evil spirits. Then, how can the non-existent demons appear in the forest? The demon you are talking about is not a demon at all. It is just a reflection of the evil qualities within you such as hatred, anger and jealousy. The anger in you is manifesting as the demon. Its power is increasing in proportion to the intensity of anger in you.” The evil qualities of man are the real demons troubling him today. Man is under the mistaken notion that demons exist and that they are responsible for his suffering. This is all nothing but imagination and psychological fear. Only man puts another man to suffering; there is no demon as such. There are no demons and evil spirits in this creation. Arjuna realised the truth of Krishna’s words and thereafter did not encounter the demon. Arjuna was beholden to Krishna for the revelation. He fell at his feet and expressed his gratitude.


Good and bad are man’s own creations.As we imagine and fear so do we become. Many problems are psychological. If we have the strength to face our fears and strengthen our selves within; no demons can attack us.


Aruni’s devotion


Value-Right conduct

Sub value- Love and devotion for one’s guru

aruni 1

Aruni was a dedicated disciple of Sage Dhoumya who lived long ago in the city of Panchala.. He lived in his  Guru’s  ashram and participated in the seva (service to God) of the ashram’s daily chores in order to receive the divine knowledge he sought.

One cold winters day, Aruni was carrying to the ashram  the firewood he had collected. As he was passing by a field which belonged to his Guru, he noticed a breach in the embankment that was holding water in the field. He realised that the water would seep away due to the breach and the crops in the field would die without the water.

Aruni thought, “What should I do? If I stop to rebuild the embankment, I will be delayed and there is no firewood at the aashram to keep the place warm. I’d better rush to the hermitage with the firewood and then come back to take care of the breach.”

Meanwhile, the Guru and His disciples had assembled for the day’s lessons. Aruni was missing. Soon Aruni rushed in, dropped the firewood in the courtyard, informed the teacher about the break in the embankment and quickly rushed back out.

Sage Dhoumya was pleased with the responsible disciple.

Aruni ran all the way back to that field and tried to stop the leakage of water by blocking it with some logs and mud. However, this did not stop the leak. The heavy pressure of the water washed away the temporary dam Aruni had constructed. He felt helpless. It seemed impossible for him to stop the leakage without help, but time was running out! He thought for a while and then had an idea about how to stop the water from leaking out.

As evening fell and it became dark, everyone at the ashram started worrying about Aruni. The Sage gathered the other disciples and they all set out to look for Aruni. When they reached the field and the Sage called out Aruni’s name, they heard a faint voice, “Here I am, Master!”

Aruni 2

Everyone rushed towards the sound. They saw Aruni lying in the breach to prevent the water from leaking out. When nothing else had worked, he had used his own body to stop the flow. The disciples quickly pulled Aruni out of the freezing water. They assured him, “Don’t worry Aruni! We will fix the breach.”

“My son you are more precious than the crop,” said the Guru.

Aruni was covered in a blanket and brought back to the aashram. Sage Dhoumya himself tended to Aruni. The Sage then blessed His disciple, “You shall be renowned forever, for your unmatched devotion and obedience to your Guru.”


The kind of obedience that Aruni had was crucial in his quest to win the Guru’s grace. We too can see what efforts we can make to develop this quality so that God and Guru will bless us. An example of this quality is, listening to our parents and teachers.

Adapted from https://www.hindujagruti.org/hinduism-for-kids/64.html


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