Grateful For The Kindness Of Strangers

2014 summer fall 444Yesterday I was on a Southwest flight flying back home and I sat next to this woman who is loosing her eye sight. She mentioned that she could not see my face just an outline of my face. She said that she was once very independent and a lab technician. She had visited Italy and lived in places like Anchorage Alaska and for the last 42 years in Arizona. But now that she is going blind, she needs some help and is moving to Seattle to live next to one of her sons.

Her house sold in just a week so the last month has been very hectic selling and giving away her possessions and you can just see that she was exhausted physically and emotionally. Her flight from Arizona to Seattle included a stop in Los Angeles and Sacramento each time changing planes. Not being able to see, she had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get her from one plane to another. A Southwest employee, who happened to be a man, was the one who took her to her flight in the Los Angeles airport. As soon as we got in the air, she had to use the restroom. She said there was no one to take her in Los Angeles, but I think since he was a man, she might have been embarrassed to tell him she needed to go. I helped her to the restroom and carried her bags off the plane to the next stranger who would help her get to her next flight.

I thought that this woman has to have faith in the kindness of strangers and that all will work out. If she had any anxiety, she did not show it. Or she was just so exhausted and had nothing left to give that she just gave in to what will be will be. Either way, she counted on the help of strangers. What would happen if we all just let go and not think of “the how” we will get there and just have faith that we will get to where we need to go?

This short encounter was a big teaching moment with several lessons. First, to be grateful for what you have now because you may not have it in the future (like your eye sight or independence). Secondly, to trust that everything will work, even if we don’t know “the how”. And finally, to let others help you. When we let others help, we are giving them a gift to spread love. There are gifts in both the giving and receiving, so don’t just be a giver and let the others help you in your journey of life.

Being grateful for the kindness of strangers reminds me of when I was 9 months pregnant and my shoe became untied. I stranger bent down and tied my shoe for which I was very grateful. Engage in life and let others help. When we positively engage, we are spreading God’s love and that love increases out to the whole universe.

I am grateful to my fellow passenger for all these lessons that she taught me. There are no coincidences (more on this in my next post) that I sat next to her on the plane. So thank you, kind lady, for sharing your story with me! I appreciate your honesty in sharing with me, a stranger, your life. Good luck in your new home in Seattle and may your 4-year-old grandson let Nona rest today!

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