The Impact of Kindness
Many stories in the news are about people being treated in an unkind way. The focus is on those who take advantage of people or fail to recognize or care about how people are treated.
It was very meaningful to know many experts from different countries offered help when the Thai soccer team and coach were stranded in a cave. The amount of dedication and time expended by these helpers was inspirational. It was a very dangerous mission (one Thai Seal diver died), but they remained committed to rescuing them and they were successful.
We don’t hear enough stories about kind people. Lately the focus has been on children removed from their parents and kept incarcerated as a group. The failure to reunite children with their parents when ordered to do so creates some heartbreaking stories.
I had a personal experience that was a contrast. I was flying to Los Angeles, and once on the plane, the airline canceled the flight for technical reasons. I was dedicated to getting there to accompany my daughter who was having out-patient surgery at noon that day. When I got off the plane, there were already more than 50 people in line at Delta trying to reschedule.
I got in line and I called Delta. I also called my daughter to keep her apprised and she informed me there were two Southwest planes that would get there on time and had seats available. When I finally got a representative from Delta on the phone (after 40 minutes as I stayed in the line for Delta), I was informed there was a flight at 2:45 p.m. which would get me there later than I wanted to be. I got up to an agent with Delta and was given the same information. I chose not to book it, got out of line and changed my mind. I went to the front of the line, waiting for the agent I had talked to.
Another man approached me, dressed in a red jacket with his name pin on. He asked if he could help me. I discovered he was with Delta. I told him my story and was given the same information again. I asked about being transferred to the Southwest flights and was told there was no reciprocity with Southwest. I told him I was disappointed. He suggested he accompany me to Southwest to talk to them.
I booked a flight and was put on standby for an earlier flight. When I got to the gate for the first flight, I told the agent my story. There were 10 people flying standby and he would not change the order. I walked away and a woman approached me and said she had heard me talking to the agent and told him to give me her ticket. “Your story is important; mine is not.” I cried.
I got on that flight.
Two people went out of their way to be helpful and supportive. There are lots of people like them in the world. Let’s tell their stories more often.