Everyone has a story. I have always been very aware of this fact. I have always been a keen listener because I have held close to my heart that everyone is coming from somewhere, celebrating a joy or bearing a hardship. I realized this even more so while sitting at an airport restaurant waiting for my flight for 4 hours. Yes, 4 hours. There simply was nowhere else to relax, watch ESPN, charge my phone and have lunch: all at the same time. It was the only option.
As I sat (for 4 hours) many people came to pass. As I sat in my seat, I had numerous rounds of people rushing in and out of the chairs surrounding me, grabbing a bite or a drink before busily hurrying to their next destination. It's interesting if you are really paying attention what you will see, and more importantly, what you will come to understand.
When I first sat, there were 2 men already seated. No one else. It was early. They sat, both completely to themselves, busily texting or emailing away. One man turned to me, as I plugged my phone in for a much needed charge, 'You should get one of these.' He passed his built-in phone charger case my way. A picture of his child's glowing smile, jumping off his screensaver. Wow, I thought, an individual wanting to connect, wanting to make my life better because of a tool he knew of to keep phones charged. Lesson 1: There is goodness all around.
As those men left two other young men sat, almost simultaneously. They got to chatting, discussing the beers they were drinking, where they were going, where they were from. When one stated: "I'm from Connecticut," which is (where I am coincidentally from.) Then he said "My flight just got delayed and now I'm on the next one." This was the same flight I was going on, coincidentally. Worried that mine might now be delayed, I sparked up a conversation, only to find that the man worked in the town right next to mine. It was a true reminder that in life we are all connected by six degrees of separation. Lesson 2: We are all connected, appreciate it.
As we sat eating, emailing and texting a woman came in. She placed her baggage on the ground, pulled up a chair and proceeded to order a salad. I noticed her phone ring a few times, her answer, and a disconnect in service each time. Then it rang and it was clear she could hear whomever was on the other end. They were now connected. I could tell by her tone that this was someone she cared about a great deal. It was warm, nurturing, loving. It seemed that she was trying to support someone going through a tough time -- I knew this by her words, "I'm so proud of how you're getting through this. Is there anything I can do?, I can't wait to give you a hug." I'm not quite sure what the tough time was. But it doesn't matter. Tough times are tough times. Immediately I felt a sense of wishing well for her, for this person on the other end of the call -- I wanted them both to be OK. To be more than OK. Lesson 3: 'Everyone is fighting a tough battle, one that we know nothing about. Always be kind.'
The overall lesson I learned while sitting at an airport restaurant: There is goodness in our world, because we are all connected: and because we are all connected, we must be kind to one another. I think it was 4 hours very well spent.