I travel quite a bit for work, which means I eat at weird times, I watch people's heads drop to their chest when they nod off (which is REALLY funny, except that I realize I do it, too), and I fret about missing connections. Well, I used to fret more. Even my husband noticed that I don't seem to worry as much anymore. My ranting used to sound like thist (the pauses are panting as I run to make the plane), "I have to hurry... I just got to Houston.... 'cuz we took off late from Newark... and I only have 10 minutes 'til they close the doors." And then, if I didn't make the flight, I would call him, crying. Not going to lie. It wasn't pretty. Now, it sounds more like, "We're taking off late from JFK. If I miss the Houston to Tucson connection, I'll call you from the hotel." And no more tears....mostly.
Part of it has to do with getting used to air travel, but part of it has to do with "seeking first to understand". When a flight can't begin boarding because the crew isn't there yet as they are still on an inbound plane that was late taking off because of hail damage, I want to laugh at the people who go up to the gate agent and complain. What exactly is she supposed to do about the inbound crew who hasn't arrived, yet? Because of hail!! I have made it a point to thank every single person who works the gates on these flights, as they mostly have the patience of Job. Yes, there are exceptions, but when there are, do I also seek first to understand that? Perhaps they just got yelled at by 15 people boarding the last flight. I don't know the scenario, so how can I rightfully judge? For that matter, when is it my place to judge anyway?
I have many dear friends who are starting school (this week, next week, this month), and I know what happens that week before school starts. Tensions are high because there is no time to get done everything that needs to get done. Pile on to that each person's personal stuff that they are carrying with them, from home or beyond. Taking time to say a caring word or put a nice note in someone's mailbox may be just the thing they need to perk them up. Some of you are extraordinarily good at that. I worked with a music teacher and a classroom assistant who were both rock stars at this. When we lost air conditioning (in Florida---in August---while moving classrooms and furniture), Renee became the water bottle fairy who simply walked around sprinkling everyone with cool water as they worked. Renee passed away from cancer that fall but nobody ever forgot her goodness. And Theresa was known to joke around and put silly things in mailboxes, but she also had an intuition when someone needed a sweet note, a prayer, a verse or just a hug and she gave those without fail.
I hope everyone has a Renee or Theresa (or Kelly or Maria or....) in their school who seeks first to understand before demanding to be understood.
Best of wishes and prayers to all starting school in these weeks.