My preference for airplane passengers

This weekend I went to a grocery store I don’t normally go to. I was a bit spacey after yoga and the car just somehow drove itself into the parking lot. Plus I was hungry.

It was not in my neighbourhood and the people who live there are mostly wealthy retirees or Olympic athletes. I think it’s the proximity to training facilities that leads the latter group to live in the area, not the rent that costs twice an average annual stipend.

I went in and did my shopping. It took longer than usual and I was feeling a bit impatient and wanting to get out of this place. Why can’t all grocery stores in the same chain orient their stores the same way? I was looking at a woman a few check-outs over. Maybe I blend in with these grocery-buying people better than I think. They aren’t all wealthy, or retired, or seniors, or Olympians. Maybe my judgment was too general and flippant to notice that we are more alike than different.

I often take a good look at a few random passengers when I first get on an airplane. I figure that if the plane goes down, these are the people who may possibly help or save me, and vice-versa. No matter what I think of them at first blush, we are in this tin box together til we reach our destination. There is some sort of cosmic rapport with these people.

All potential friends. I like them all, a little bit.

All have potential. I like them all, a little bit.

Do I judge the airplane people less than a guy on the street? I confess, I do judge a little less. These may be the people I’ll need to drag my unconscious body out of the fuselage should we be in a very dire situation together. I like them a little more because I want to trust them. The same is true, I suppose, of some guy on the street. I just find it a lot less likely that I would need the help on the street. Or that the circumstances to bind us would be so immediate or dire.

But the likeliness of any event actually occurring should not be my basis for judgment or moderate my willingness to change that judgment. Sometimes, because we are so circumstantially oriented, changing our mind is hard to do.

Earlier that day, in yoga class, our instructor told us to feel what we are feeling and then give in, just a little. We can allow ourselves to soften without anyone even noticing.

I resist change, preferring to alter things according to my own schedule and liking. But even when I make a sour face and cross my arms, I have also given in, just a little. I have connected my thoughts to an idea and allowed it space. So the change is not earth-shattering, but it is change. And this is how change happens. We think a little bit differently, and later we do things a little bit differently.

unfolding

Unfolding: add our thoughts to an idea.

Maybe the guy on the street will be on next flight I catch and I will see it’s the same guy, even if he hasn’t changed.

(Photo credit: Xpectro)

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11 thoughts on “My preference for airplane passengers

  1. I love the idea of “give in, just a little.” Like you, I resist change. I seem to be better with big changes and resist the smaller changes the most, like when I go to my local grocery store and they’ve moved the popcorn to a different aisle. I generally hate schedules and routine, but these small changes can totally shift my world. Learning to “give in, just a little” could teach me the patience I need. Plus, I’m stubborn, so I can handle “just a little!”

    • I agree. I can handle changes just a little, because I don’t like my feathers ruffled. When they move the popcorn to a different aisle I want to see the manager! I never do and I just chicken out about the whole thing, but it does leave me with my knickers in a knot for a few moments.
      I think by changing “a little” I can trick myself to not notice it as much, and make progress towards a different end that way.

  2. I pay as little attention to other passengers as I can.
    We’re going to be trapped in a metal box for a few hours. May as well leave as few chances to be annoyed as possible.

  3. I have to admit, Tania, I’ve thought that same thought on an airplane.That, what if we go down together? It’s not a nice thought! I have also thought about those grocery stores…why can’t they just all be the same?

  4. Tania, Do you ever find yourself wondering if you could eat them if you had to?
    And if so, what sort of person would you prefer to eat?

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