I did some air traveling recently and was reminded of the rather unflattering portrait of humanity that is expressed by boarding by zone, maintenance delays, and tablet-based dining. Air travel seems to amplify every ounce of human impatience, restlessness, and selfishness. It's a very strange blend of togetherness and isolation, connection and disconnection, profound stress and complimentary snacks... the emotional turbulence generally outweighs the atmospheric. And despite all the organized chaos and shared suffering, it's an amazing feat that we can launch a pressurized metal tube across the edge of the earth and arrive safely to share grief and joy and knowledge with loved ones. I have to believe that if we could all step back and see the individuals in the crowd and meet each person and their journey with curiosity, compassion and gratitude that the change could be profound. Every interaction you have is an opportunity to make the world a kinder more connected place, and maybe the concentrated humanity at the airport is just an especially potent opportunity.
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