Saturday, November 30

Wishing for thoughtfulness

There was a lot of conversation about a recent article in Huffington Post about an annoying airplane passenger and the individual who tweeted about the event. Many of us have sat next to or near the annoying passenger.

Such a passenger can be a distraction on a flight. It's possible such a passenger can be a danger to the safety of nearby passengers and/or crew members.

Those who don't travel often are more impatient with delays. Weather is pretty much out of the hands of the airlines. Infrequent travelers don't realize or don't care to realize the ripple effect of bad weather which means that planes or crews aren't where they're supposed to be. Of course, airlines often use "mechanical problems" as an excuse though it is often a legitimate reason for a delay. No one is going to mess around with a mechanical problem.

What I don't understand is not only lack of compassion, but lack of awareness. This woman on the plane, yes, annoying, even quite rude. And yes, I would have been really aggravated had I been on the flight with this individual. But it wasn't until the end of the story that Elan mentioned the medical mask and then I wondered if the breathing and tension was about the fact the annoying passenger was actually a frightened flyer. It's entirely possible she is just a nasty person who didn't plan well, but it's also possible that she is afraid of flying and, for reasons no one will ever know, she couldn't leave on any day but Thanksgiving. Her responses to everyone were heightened by her anxiety about travel and about getting where she wanted to be on time.

I don't care for Elan Gale's responses, nor his attitude about this woman. I think Elan crossed a few lines and I think he escalated the situation by his comments and his actions.

Maybe Elan thought he was trying to help when he sent the glass of wine, except for the last part of the note when he said the woman wouldn't be able to use her mouth to talk.  Had he stopped at the line that it was a gift to the woman, his sincerity would have been more believable. But with that last line, it suggests to me that Elan is simply getting attention.

As a result of the Huffington Post article and this other blog posts, Elan is getting a lot of attention. Perhaps not quite the kind he would like.

I wish we were more aware about people and ourselves. I wish we were more thoughtful and less cruel. I wish we were less apt to make situations about us and more alert to the conditions of others. I wish we were indeed more compassionate and more empathetic. I wish we were less self-righteous. I wish we were just nicer people.

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