I originally wrote this in 2011. I recently came across it and have re-posted.
People in this world must seem extremely funny when looked at through a telescope placed on a distant planet. Play along for a moment. Imagine someone from a distant planet looking down on Earth. Perhaps you, specifically.
I am into planes. I enjoy watching planes take off. I enjoy watching planed land. Soar through the air (against gravity, I might add). I enjoy flying in planes, being in planes. Planes.
I always find it ironic when I am on one of the many flights I have had the privilege of traveling. You may hear the individual or individual sitting next you complain about a 10 minute delay (due to an individual needing additional help to get on the plane due to a recent broken leg). This situation always makes me think.
Are people really this focused on the details they are incapable of putting a flight from A to B in perspective?
Let’s take a flight from Kelowna, BC (the region I’m currently located) to Vancouver, BC (a fantastic vibrant city I frequent):
- Flight time is 37 minutes (in the air)
- Gate departure to gate arrival is 59 minutes
- Home departure in Armstrong (home town) to hotel arrival in Vancouver is about 200 minutes (driving, loading, etc)
- Drive directly from home to hotel is 300 minutes (without stops)
- Cycle directly from home to hotel would be about 48 hours
- Walking directly from home to the hotel would be about 1.5 weeks
The above numbers are all gross approximations. They are beside the point. If you can’t get past the approximations I used, feel free to comment or go back and re-read about 5 sentences ago about the details.
The point is, if you really have a problem waiting 10 minutes for another human being, maybe flying isn’t for you. Must you fly because you’re so busy – perhaps a look at priorities may allow you to instead drive and bring your family.
Our elders use to drive. Those before even rode horses or, wait for it, take a deep breath because this will be shocking, yes, they even walked. Well, I spoke to an older adult the other day. They happened to be pretty damn wise and smart. They still have time to drive.
The best part for me during a delay. The pilot or lead flight attendant comes over the intercom to announce the delay. A women, a passenger, dressed in a top-of-the-line business clothing, is racing to Vancouver, BC to sign the biggest partnership deal of her life says something like: “Are they stupid? They have no idea what they’re doing.”
Planes, when not properly maintained or due to gross human error, can be very dangerous. Do you really imagine the Canadian federal government would allow idiots to run and maintain these majestic machines of metal? (Okay, well maybe the current Conservation Government with their de-regulation policies).
Let’s look at this a little deeper. The woman is stressed. Why? Has a huge important business deal she is signing in 2.5 hours. That’s the shallow view. The deeper view. Her daughter cried this morning when mom and dad dropped her and her little brother at the mother’s parents. The parents have put in 60-70 hour weeks of work, fitness classes, and shopping for the past few months. For many parents, I’d guess the lashing out is due more to the mother knowing deep-down that what her daughter said to her this morning is playing a larger role than the business deal.
Look at the bigger picture. By flying on a 50 minute flight, this is saving you a few hours of driving.
Second. Let’s treat others with a little respect. Just like how you’re really more mad at yourself for not seeing your young children for weeks than stressed from the business deal, the person holding up the plane actually showed up 2 hours earlier than you to the airport so they could ensure they made it to the gate in a timely fashion. Why where they the last one to board? The rush of others to get on the plane nearly knocked the guy on crutches over so he decided to wait until the line was almost gone until he boarded.
Let’s all get our eyes off the details and look at the larger picture. Why not be curious a little bit more? Plane is 10 minutes leaving – instead of assuming it’s the airline, why not make up a cool story?
Perhaps a mother duck and her 10 little ducklings made it through airport security (they have no metal on them so didn’t set off the metal detectors). They’ve made their way on to the runway. It also happens to be take your kid to work day. Airport policy is to still allow planes to land and takeoff with ducks on the runway (made up, for those who have aviation knowledge). The grade 9 young teenager who came to work with his dad sees the ducks. The dad decides to do the right thing (leadership; doing things right would be to continue to run the planes, but this is a manager’s way of thinking, not a leaders). He calls the tower and holds all flights to allow the safeguarding of the ducks and her little ducklings.
Now, there’s a completely creative and made up story. I feel much better making this story up using my creative juices than being resentful. Try it one time.
Consider the consequences. The guy who broke his foot. He’s young now, but in 20 years will be a judge deciding the fate of your grade 9 son after he was caught lighting garbage cans on fire (creative juices, again). Maybe a little patience isn’t so bad.
This is DUC193 (a flight’s codename) heading 1-3-5 at 1-2-0.
Over and out.
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Adam is President and Co-Founder of the social enterprise, one3ag. He is currently helping develop Okanagan Elite Athlete. You can connect with Adam by: Twitter; Email (firstname.lastname@example.org); Facebook; LinkedIn; Web; In-person. You can connect with one3ag by: Twitter; Email (email@example.com); Blog; and Facebook. You can connect with Okanagan Elite Athlete by: Twitter; Email (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Facebook.