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.