Posted on January 13, 2010
Andrew Thorn takes a fresh look at how we can develop our own awareness on how not to be so selfish, recognising what it takes when we “dare to be delightful”.
Viewpoint by Andrew Thorn, PhD., WCW Columnist
Late one summer night, I found myself in line at the Buenos Aires airport waiting to board a flight that had already been delayed by about three hours. It was hot and and I was tired. I was anxious to get on the plane and into my seat so that I could get some much needed sleep. I wish I could say that I stood in line patiently, but I think it was pretty clear that I was taxed by the duration of the day.
I was fortunate enough to be flying business class, which meant that my seat would fully recline into the flat position. it also meant that I would be one of the first passengers to board. Time seemed to be at a standstill and I wanted to get on that plane pretty bad.
Finally, they announced that it was OK to board. Because I of my fatigue, I failed to notice a couple of people who were clearly in front of me. I did not run them over, but I definitely behaved in a way that would have made my mother angry with me. I was rude and inconsiderate.
It would be easy to say that I was not aware, and that I just was moving as quickly as I could to get on the plane, but in reality, I purposefully moved in a way that said, “get out of my way”, and everybody in my way knew it.
Most of the passengers got out of my way without saying anything, but one man stopped me and said, “why don’t you go on ahead. I am sure I will have plenty of time to board and I don’t think they will leave without me.” He actually said it in one of most loving and caring voices that I have ever heard. There was not a hint of sarcasm or anger in his voice.
His tone actually woke me up from the “sleep deprived, get-out-of-my-way charge” that I was inflicting upon my fellow passengers. I immediately recognized what I was doing and asked for his forgiveness. He was more than willing to offer it and we boarded the plane together. As we went our separate ways, I thanked him again.