This week I traveled to Florida. Typically, I usually am one of the last to board having run through the airport to get to the plane. However, this trip I arrived a few hours earlier than planned and for the first time in years arrived at the gate several hours prior to boarding time.

I reached in to my briefcase to pull out my iPad only to remember that it was on the counter at home, exactly the place I left it so as to not forget it. You can probably relate.

I thought about walking down to the newspaper shop and purchasing a paper and then I remembered it was Sunday and I’d already read the weekend papers.

After fidgeting on my iPhone for a few minutes I then just started to take in the things around me.

First, I could hear a man talking rather loudly on his cell phone, screaming would be more like it. The number of expletives wailed as he walked past me on the moving carpet was offensive.

Next up was the poor flight attendant at the gate who was being accosted by a couple who were equally vocal about missing their flight. As I listened it became apparent that they were 15 minutes late. The plane had fully boarded and was already pulling back from the gate. The man wanted the plane to return and pick them up. The saga continued for a few more minutes and then the attendant picked up the phone. The couple still continued to challenge and finally security arrived.

The couple were asked to follow security. I watched as the attendant turned and started to cry. I got up and handed her a tissue. She thanked me and I said I thought she did a wonderful job in handling the situation. The comment surprised her but she thanked me. The smile was genuine.

The fun did not stop just because we were airborne. I was in seat 8C and across the aisle were two women who were traveling with small dogs. Both were on short leases and both had a lot of energy. The women thought it was okay for the dogs to walk around the cabin and did not stop until the man seated next to them politely asked them to get hold of their pets. The women became agitated at the shock of the request and only stopped when the another passenger also asked them to control their animals.

Not to have the fun stop there, the DirectTV system was not working and the passenger in front of me thought this to be the sin of all sins and vented his frustrations to all in ear shot. Thankfully, he calmed down when he was offered a free drink. Priceless!

It is hard at times to not judge but the question I ask is which of these “people” have I acted like in the past? The bigger challenge is too not act this way in the future. The learning that I took from this is that we have to get a grip on ourselves. Each of the situations that played out in a few hours are typical and no doubt occur by the minute throughout the country. We have to do a better job in handling the small issues on life, not allow the minor to become major and to most importantly be kind.

Looking back; the man on the phone needs to recognize that venting his expletives megaphone style in not polite. The couple should accept they and they alone were late and ask for help to get home. The ladies with the dogs need to realize a plane is not their home. And finally the man with no DirectTV could have just accepted this is part of the hassle of travel.

All would have had a better day and many around them would not have been impacted. Therefore, my thrive initiative for this week is to be kind, aware and patient. It will make for a more enjoyable life. After all, we choose what to become upset about. Let’s look for the brighter spots in life to magnify. Let’s be kinder.

As always, thanks for “listening” and you can contact me direct at


* 1st published on LinkedIn

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