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Saturday, July 2, 2011

We Have to Choose to be Kind

On Thursday morning this week, we left on the 6am Alaska Airlines Flight 62 from Fairbanks to Juneau, and we stopped in Anchorage. Normally, the same plane continues on to Juneau, but this time we needed to get on another plane with the same crew. We disembarked and then boarded the second plane and I reached into my backpack to discover that I had left my Bose earphones on the first plane in the seat pocket. Those earphones keep the noise of the engines at bay and I never travel without them. I panicked. They're expensive, but more than that, they make my frequent air travel more comfortable. 

People were still walking down the aisle, finding their seats and getting settled. I managed to work my way down the crowded aisle to a flight attendant and told her my story. She immediately started problem solving and said she would do what she could to get them for me. She called the attendant at the door of the plane to let her know about my problem. I sat in my seat, doing the "it could be worse" routine in my head. Five minutes later, she walked toward me, holding the earphones. She said the captain had run from our plane to the first plane, found my earphones and sprinted back in time to leave on schedule. 

Captain Marty didn't have to retrieve my earphones. I figure he had enough on his hands flying our jet. It wasn't his problem. If he had done nothing, I wouldn't have blamed him. He made a choice to be kind. So did both flight attendants.

And that is the crux of kindness, I think. We have to make a choice: to allow someone into our lane while driving, to say "thank you" with genuine feeling, to give up our seat on a crowded bus, to talk to a shy person at a party, to actually go out of our way, get out of our heads and away from the self-interest that can often drive our behavior. 

Thank you, Captain Marty! And I am saying that with genuine feeling.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bridget. Such a reminder that kindness costs nothing and often lasts a lifetime for the recipient. This blog post makes me smile and renews my commitment to 'be kind.' Along with being green, our communities need to be kind. Here's to the Alaska Airlines staff who demonstrated kindness.