Friday, January 23, 2009

The power of you.

I have to share with you a little snippet that I witnessed at the end of my travels on the airplane as we exited at the Milwaukee airport. It's just too good not to share.
Here's what happened.
Our flight on Midwest Airlines went really smooth- we arrived from Nashville and were given the okay to gather our belongings and prepare to exit the plane. About half of the passengers on board got their bags and stood in the aisle while we waited for the Jet Bridge to be put in place for us to make our way inside the terminal. Well, I'm not certain who is to blame, but for some reason the Jet Bridge couldn't be placed next to the plane. There were at least 10 attempts made to line it up with the airplane door, but each time they didn't get close enough for a proper exit.
Let me tell you that the flight attendant had the door open and the temperature was about 4 degrees. It was almost 10 pm and I am guessing most of us on the aircraft were tired and cold. Crew was growing more and more restless, along with all of the other passengers. To add to the fact that not only were we being delayed on the plane, but each time the Jet Bridge backed up to try to line up with the airplane door, there was that annoying beeping that occurs when vehicles drive in reverse. It was really loud too! So, after as many as 10 failed attempts, the flight attendant got on her speaker phone and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, it appears the Jet Bridge is experiencing some techinal difficulties, this evening. It will likely be another couple of minutes until you can exit the plane. Thank you for your patience".
We all waited for another 10 attempts at getting the bridge in place...I could sense the patience of many wearing thin at this point. Crew was getting more annoyed at waking to the loud sound of the beep and he really didn't want the pacifier I was holding in his mouth at this point either. I was feeling most sorry for both the Jet Bridge driver (as we could all watch him out the windows) and for the flight attendant too (who looked like she wanted to pass out some more signature chocolate chip cookies to all of us just to pass the time and to take our minds off of what was happening at the doorway). It seemed like it was taking forever as we continued to wait.
Seriously, they tried to back up the bridge at least 20 times. The flight attendant (Heather) turned to the passengers that were lined up just behind here close to the exit, she smiled, bowed her head and said,
"Dear God,
Just once could you help everything to go smoothly for me at this job.
The passengers laughed with her as she looked back at all of us and grinned.
Soon we were all taking the stairs down the side of the plane and stepping onto a snowy, icy landing- sans Jet Bridge.
The pilots even stepped out of the cabin to bid us all a good evening and they too, thanked us for our patience.
I couldn't help but think how our actions so quickly set the tone for any given circumstance. Clearly this flight attendant could have gotten miffed at having toapologize for something out of her control. She easily could have stood there rolling her eyes and breathing heavily- annoyed as the rest of us. Instead, her bit of humor, at just the right moment, lightened the mood and made us all feel more at ease with the whole situation.
I vowed then and there to try to act more like her at all the trying times that life sends our way throughout our days and weeks. We really DO have the power to turn a potentially upsetting situation into one that is laughable. We really DO have the choice of how to respond to circumstances throughout the day. Whether or not those circumstances are in or out of our control doesn't matter. How we choose to respond can make or break the moment. No matter how big or small it is.
I hope this little story is a good reminder for you and me to take with us as we go about doing life. The little moments matter. The way we live in those moments matters too. I think it would have been a good idea to hand out extra cookies at the door of the plane that night too. That would have made the moment even sweeter. =)
Have you doubted the 'power of you' lately? Have you questioned your purpose at times- especially when life seems to spin circles around you? I hope I've encouraged you to tap into the good in you. We all have it. We all can use it. I love seeing it in real life. If you've seen it played out recently, please share your story in the comments here. I think it would be fun to read of other examples that some of you have witnessed/been a part of lately (good or bad). Yes...there is power in you!


Andrea said...

I had a similar thought a few weeks ago when the debit card at the grocery store malfunctioned and I was in line with a hungry 4 month old and one of her big sisters. My first impulse was to roll my eyes and feel very put out and aggravated but the attitude of the cashier, manager, and the man behind me in line (who decided to stay in line with us, chatting with my toddler rather than take another cashier's offer of moving to another line), was so positive, I couldn't help but feel positive myself. A simple smile, patience, and kindness can do so much to change a situation from unpleasant to uplifting.

Laura said...

This is a timely post! I just posted last week about being a better person and this kind of fits in with that - choosing how to react carefully to a situation. A little humour goes a long way. Thanks for sharing this story!

shalay said...

Thanks for this post. I kinda needed to read it right now.

MiMi said...

See, how inspirational you can be! You just inspired me to be a better person. God is using you through this blog.

Trace S. said...

Just have to say that, YOU ROCK GIRLFRIEND! I am always reading your blog thinking things did you know I thought that? And how did you know I feel that way too? Thank you for sharing and being so uplifting, you truly are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I returned some items to a craft store just last evening. It was a large return. I have been doing some re-decorating at my house so I bought a lot of things and took them home to see "how they fit". What did not work, I returned. The cashier I used was a gem. She was upbeat; light-hearted...she made the absolute best of a bad situation. However, she called the floor lady to come and get the items and restock them to the shelves before she was through with the refund. The lady threw them at the basket, slung stuff, huffed, puffed and rolled her eyes. I was astonished at her actions. She really did throw quite a fit. I asked the cashier if that lady had a bad today, or if she was always like that. She said she had had a LONG day and was probably ready to go home. I told her that I thought the lady might need to find a job she better enjoyed. I cannot imagine going to work every day and acting like that about any part of it. I wanted to tell her “Life is about Choices”, make better ones.

Hopesrising said...

Thanks for this post Jodi.I wrote a post on my blog called *Chance* this week.
I think your post is so true on how we react and act in front of others. It sets the tone for how others act.

I have done a lot of thinking lately and having had a lot of health issues. It amazed me how some say they support others but they don't get that if you support others in the right way that comes back to you two fold.
I work in a world wide cancer chat and some of the people in there are so non supportive. Then there are those of us who have had cancer and are dealing with terminal long term issues. I find it my job to give others hope and say you can do treatment and you will make it though. Empowering and Encouraging them to make good choice even when things are back.
Its tough not everyone makes it but I know I have done the right thing in supporting them and their families.
Most might say *Well I will never meet that person face to face so my actions do not matter.*
You know what thought it does matter I have met some face to face and its been one of the best parts of sharing the journey with them.
A very good friend died with in this chat room. I met her the first night she came in. Met her in person and my life changed as did hers. Support done right is a beautiful thing, you get what you give two fold. By chance we became like sisters through it all.
She passed away as I wrote in my post . But its the most complete and wonderful relationship I ever had in life.
To me now the power within is a whole new powerful gift. In how it affects everyone around you but most of all how it changes you inside.
I also realize now that in this cancer chat my actions have changes others in how they react as well. So that said. Its a good thing.

I m glad you made it home safely.

Anonymous said...

as usual you just stopped me spinning.....what did I do o have you as my you xx

Lauren Kelly said...

WOW, how timely. What a challenge, thank you :) I needed this!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post Jodi. In my experience, I find that in situations where someone is extremely stressed out, I just become even kinder and that usually gets them to come around and be more pleasant. Most people in retail are overworked and underpaid. I find that when a cashier is rude all I usually have to do is chat a bit and they change their tune. If not, I just tell myself that I really don't know what they are dealing with in their life -- sometimes it's nothing but sometimes it's something devastating -- so I just cut them slack and move on.
I'm glad you got back home safely and that there was another way out of the plane eventually! Dang, it sure would have been nice to have some extra cookies to make it all better though!

Vicky said...

Thank you for sharing! I love it when someone gets noticed for their "grace" in a tough situation : ) Its a great reminder that no matter what our circumstances are we have a choice in how we respond to it! I'm glad you had this time with your friends and also glad you are home safely!

Abbie said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it today. This morning I heard a sermon about Moses and how God told him (and tells us) "I am with you and I will accomplish what I've called you to do." Good thing because it is outside of my power.

Before Christmas I was at Walmart and had an associate go WAY out of her way to help me. You can read the long story on my blog at if you want to. It was AMAZING to me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I was thinking about my attitude in general this week and how I need to chill out a little bit.

-Lurker in Cary, NC

Jen said...

Oh my! I 100% agree. My sister told me a long time ago that usually everyone's day is determined by what kind of mood Mom is in! She is quite right. If I'm stressed my husband and kids know it and get stressed right with me. If I'm calm, funny thing, they all seem calm. Thanks for reminding me I need MORE calm days and LESS stressed days!