I wonder where everyone is going. Who they’re traveling to go see. What their lives are like. What they’re going through. Maybe we’re not that different. Maybe we are as different as we think. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own world and forget everyone around us is a person too. They have good days and bad days. They have strengths and weaknesses. They have feelings.
Sometimes I forget I am a normal person too. When I’m in an airport I have on my consultant mask… which is basically (and unfortunately) a self absorbed robot. Always somewhat in a hurry. Too “important” to wait in lines with those who don’t have status. Gaining more hotel points and airline miles by the minute than are ever necessary in life, yet slightly annoyed by even the slightest hiccup in my travel day… like a delayed flight, or the man who doesn’t know he can keep his shoes on in the Pre-Check line, or the woman who stands in the middle of the terminal hallway obviously very lost.
I think that’s why we spend so much time judging, hating, and fearing people we don’t know. We forget they are people with feelings just like ours. They can be happy, or sad, or anxious, or annoyed like we do… But most importantly we forget that we aren’t perfect and we’re not more important than anyone else. All we really know is our life. Who knows what kind of person we would be with the opportunities they had, their skin color, or their experiences. Do we really have a reason to be anything other than kind?
A lady reminded me of this the last time I was on a flight leaving out of this gate (which was also very delayed like today). She tapped me on the arm while I was waiting in line at a coffee shop and told me my order was paid for. I quickly regurgitated my go-to order to the barista and followed after her to say thank you. Her response was simple, “You’re welcome, it’s not much.” And, as soon as her coffee was ready, she not only walked away, but back out of my life forever. So, why did she do it? Maybe I looked upset, or maybe I just was another woman alone in an airport later in the evening. I’m not sure. But, does it really matter? Did she need a reason to show love for someone she didn’t even know?
She was right though, it wasn’t much, but it went a long way. And now someone who typically wouldn’t care, thinks more about the thousands of people she sees in the busy terminals she frequents… giving a smile, or a compliment, or a helping hand. It’s not much, but no matter where everyone is going, who they’re traveling to go see, what their lives are like, what they’re going through, how different or similar we may be, I do know that kindness feels the same for everybody and we can always use a little bit of it.