“I’m sorry Ray-Ray, you’ll have to sit by yourself. Do you think you can do that?” A mother told her less-than-three-year-old her son as she walked the aisle past me on a recent trip to El Paso. Now, this wasn’t a whisper as Ray-Ray was behind her and couldn’t hear well due to the noise of people on the plane – my point here is: everyone heard it. It wasn’t said as much in a way of telling people that she and her son were going to have to sit apart, as much as it was so Ray-Ray would hear.
Already seated with passengers to my left and right, me changing seats would not have helped the situation. So, I began looking around to see if there were any options for this mother and son to sit together. In my mind I started playing “people Tetris” to find a way to create two open seats together.
While looking around, I noticed that none of the lazy, inconsiderate people around me who had an empty seat to their left or right opted to change seats from an aisle or window to a middle seat to accommodate mom and Ray-Ray. (Sure, it’s more comfortable to be on the aisle or window seat, but seriously.)
At work, we’ve recently been talking about how Christians can live differently and show love, kindness and compassion that emulate God’s love, kindness, compassion and grace. I’m not talking about a simple, “What would Jesus do?” but true acts, big or small, which allow us to live out what we believe. To do this, our mentality must change from me and my comfort or want to an outward-looking state that observes people and need around us.
So, I encourage you the next time you find yourself comfy in a chair, bus seat, car, house, job to take a look around and see not what you have, but what others don’t.
Oh, and Ray-Ray was a big boy who mastered the one-and-a-half-hour solo flight.