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.


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