By Steve Moran
It is early morning with the sun just coming up. I am sitting in the second row of first class on a Delta flight that will ultimately get me to Little Rock, where I will be talking to the Arkansas Residential Assisted Living Association about how they can “spit in the face of the staffing crisis.”
In the bulkhead row ahead of me, there is a little passenger drama going on that is a fascinating look at the human condition.
In the bulkhead aisle seat is a young woman trying to watch a movie. To her right are two “good ole boys” who are having a good time watching the scenery pass by 5 miles below, meaning their window shade is up.
The young woman is incensed they will not put the window shade down. At first, it appeared they were oblivious, but perhaps she asked them to put the shade down and they refused. She has been staring daggers at them, holding her purse up to block the light from their window, and on occasion shedding tears.
It is clear she feels violated by these guys with the window shade up.
The two guys have steadfastly ignored her acting out, and they are constantly looking out the window.
I confess that if it had been me, I would have likely caved and closed the window. But I am also someone who likes working on an airplane … like writing this opportunistic article. But I also like looking out the window, so I am not so sure I would want someone sitting across from me complaining.
People Are Complicated
I am more obsessed with watching her reactions, which are probably healthy, to the point of voyeurism. I have no idea what is going on in her life, her soul, and her heart, so I want to be careful here. I am sure if I were to ask, she would tell me that these two guys ruined her entire flight because they were so rude and would not close the window.
On the Other Hand …
These guys didn’t do anything wrong. Part of the flying experience when you have access to a window is to look out the window, and for some people it is a big deal. Sitting one row behind and across the aisle, I can see her screen pretty well. No doubt it would have been better for her if the window shade were down, but it is three-and-a-half hours of her life, and I am sure the negativity will dwell in her for at least the rest of the day.
She could have chosen differently. We all have things happen in life that are annoying or inconvenient, and we get to choose what to do with those moments — to move on, make it better, or do something else.
I can imagine her watching these guys having fun looking out the window and taking joy in their “kid-like” delight. She could have read; she could have listened to something; she could have slept; she could have simply watched the movie and ignored the light.
Instead, she chose to let it ruin her entire flight. It makes me sad.
But I Do It Too
I am not proud of this.
As I walked from the parking lot this morning at the airport, two drivers ignored stop signs, speeding right in front of me as I was crossing the road to the terminal. They were close. I had the right of way, and they should have, stopped but they didn’t.
AND I YELLED AT THEM.
It turned out that one was an Uber driver doing a drop-off. I waited until he got out of the car to help his passenger, yelled at him again, and told his passenger to not give him a tip. Really not proud of that ….
We as a society seem to be living in a constant state of “pre-offended,” ready to be mad at the least slight, forgetting that we get to choose how we react to what happens in our lives.