Flying home from vacation today I notice the many situations in airports that can cause frustration and tempers to flair. When flying I have often been tired or hungry or feeling pressure to get to my destination for various reasons. When I am in need of rest, nourishment, or ease I am more likely to start blaming others for things not going as I would like– as recipe for misery. Sure enough, just prior to the plane landing they announced announced that we would be coming into the terminal 30 minutes later than scheduled. Feeling concerned, wanting to make my connecting flight, I looked at my ticket to check the departure time and terminal location, tried to understand how far that was in relation to where we would be arriving, and hurried to the next flight.
My traveling companion, noticing a curtesy service cart transporting some fellow travelers to the terminal, called to the driver, “Can you help us reach our flight?”
The response was, “We will let them know you are coming.” My companion’s response, while dragging his carry on luggage was, “Huh, another example of how supportive this airline is!”
I checked in with myself and noticed I was wanting ease, connection and enjoyment for all of us on this trip. So, I chose to offer empathy silently to my companion. My thoughts toward my companion were, “Are you tired and concerned and wanting some help and support getting you and your bag to the terminal?.“ Note, I thought this rather than say it out loud. How did this help? It gave me more compassion for my friend. It helped me notice his needs and to see them as precious gifts so that I could better value him and continue on the trip in the frame of mind of us appreciating each other. The result was more connection, understanding, and love.
From my heart,