Earlier this year, I posted about the first of my Personal Principles – Try Kindness First. I do mean to get to the other nine one of these days.
And you may remember the Tennessee Seven. One of those seven rescued Westies got a new home in Colorado with my sister. Which brings me to my story:
Flying First Class
You’ve redeemed a bunch of frequent flyer points to upgrade your seat from Steerage to Somewhat Comfortable and as you take your seat, you notice that next to you sits a slightly frazzled woman comforting a little dog in a carrier under the seat in front of her. Your reaction?
If you’re the young man who sat next to me on the Richmond to Atlanta leg, you don’t even say good morning as you sit down because you’re on your phone. And during the flight you stay busy with your laptop avoiding eye contact or any interaction. It’s okay, I understand. The world is still totally All About You, and it’s possible we’re going to ruin your flight. You probably don’t imagine that I’ve already thought of that and am worried about it too. You might even be trying to conceal your aggravation when the little dog frantically starts pawing the side of the carrier to get out. I try to comfort her by opening the zipper to stroke her head while murmuring an apology to you. I think you grunt at me. I know you don’t actually speak. I get it all under control in what seems an eternity but surely isn’t. Josie’s sedative finally kicks in and before I know it, we are landing in Atlanta. You pack up your stuff and hustle off that plane without a fare-thee-well. I know. You hate flying.
And if you’re the older gentleman from Arkansas settling into your seat on the final leg to Colorado, you see me too. You politely greet me and ask “What’s this?”
“I’m bringing a little rescue Westie out to Denver. She’s a puppy mill rescue and she is a little frantic at being in this carrier, I’m afraid. I hope we don’t bother you too much.”
You smile and in a soft drawl you reassure me, “Awww. She’ll be just fine.” And I feel a wave of relief come over me that our three hour flight won’t be an ordeal. Not because I’m sure Josie actually will be fine, but because I’m sure you’re kind.
To the gentle Arkansan who flew out to Denver to consult with an orthopedist in Vail for a bad back, who has Bouvier des flandres dogs and is so very kind: Thank you. You’re a class act. First Class.
Thanks for reading,