I saw a lot of very interesting people on a recent return trip home from Arizona. I am not talking about the vast number of individuals I saw, each with their own unique appearance, preferences, sense of style, and idiosyncrasies, although all of that was quite fun to observe. I am talking about how I saw people actually change their behavior when our travel plans got all messed up due to nasty weather, causing us to be delayed, re-routed, delayed again, and then stuck in an airport overnight. If it’s true that the “real” us comes out during the extremes in our lives, when we are tested and/or stressed, I am here to say that I saw some pretty scary people who made the bad guys in the worst horror films I have ever seen look like a sleepy version of Lassie.
I’ll share just one example: I witnessed a woman go from talking about how blessed she was while we were boarding the original flight, to breaking in line, cursing and pointing her finger at a man she did not know once we finally arrived at the airport where we were to spend the night. I am not making this up! When she noticed that a few of us might be a little taken aback by her behavior, she offered a very compelling excuse for herself while looking back at us from the front of the line, “Well, I am extremely tired and I really want to get home, I am usually in bed and asleep by now!!” As you might imagine, there was a ripple of laughter from the group, but mostly there was disbelief that she felt that she was the one who wanted to get home more than the rest of us, or was more tired than the rest of us. Again, I am not making this up … I wouldn’t do that because I think you would probably claim that I’d gone too far! I honestly tried to give her the benefit of the doubt though, so I made up a story where the blessings that she spoke of earlier in the day had an expiration date on them, and that the date came and went while we were en route. It worked a little bit, so don’t laugh!
On the other side of that crap, I saw some angels too. I saw people offering their blankets and cots to other people who missed out when the airline attendant brought supplies to our gate area. I saw people sharing their toiletries and snacks. And I had a lovely conversation with a man who said, “There are no accidents in life so this is where I am supposed to be right now. No reason to fight this because this is where I am.” That’s right, the wonderful soul who said those words reminded me that the floor of DFW airport was exactly where I was supposed to be. And you know what? He was right. Strangely, I had a peaceful night. Not all that comfortable, but very, very peaceful.
But here’s the thing…it took witnessing the extremes I described above in order for me to have that peace. Those extremes reminded me that I have a choice in how I respond to all that shows up in my life. I will always have a choice – and so will you.
What do the extremes in your life unveil about you?
We are creating our lives…one decision at a time.
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