Sunday, October 4, 2009

No peace for some...

I’m on the second plane of the day en route from JFK to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The last flight was booked to overflowing. The airline rep. offered a $300 ticket to anyone willing to be “bumped”. I didn’t offer to stay as I am making a connection in MN. So, as we finally boarded there was an air of frustration – too many people, not enough seats. This grown-up version of “musical chairs,” does not bring out the best in people.

Once on board and seated, I witnessed a scene between two passengers. The woman was REALLY angry because her husband’s seat assignment was changed and the woman planning to sit in his seat was getting her wrath. The poor, unsuspecting passenger was, unfortunately, an employee of the airline. That was the “last straw.” It got worse before it got better. Her husband made his way forward and joined the fray. The airline employee was calm and respectful throughout. She immediately offered to change seats and, while that was what they wanted, they continued to spew and fester. It was an embarrassing scene for the young man seated with the irate couple – a son? I felt sorry for all of them – really, truly sorry.

How is it that we become so hard? So selfish and myopic? What is it about our culture that promotes “taking care of #1” regardless of others’ needs? Why is it that when we pay for something, we thing we are entitled to belittle and berate anyone associated with our disappointments?

Maybe, it has to do with poor self-esteem. When we know who we are before GOD – precious, unique and loved – we can see others in that same light. When we are unsure of our worth or gauge it by all the wrong measuring sticks, we interpret every frustration as a personal attack. I prayed for that angry couple as we took off. On the outside they would seem to “have it all” when, in fact, they are unaware of their poverty. If losing a seat can cause such distress, what will such persons do when real suffering enters their lives? How blessed we are that GOD never gives up on any one of us. The opportunities to grow in wisdom and compassion never end. Nothing is impossible for GOD – if we are willing to accept the gift of grace.

Blessings and love to you,
- Sister Vicki