Flight Risk

Before you read the following quote, I have a confession to make. Seeing some of the "flight fights" that have been occurring with angry passengers assaulting flight attendants or other seatmates had me recall my time in the air. When I was giving talks across the country and flew sometimes twice a month, more often than I'd care to admit I would let people in terminals and in the air unnerve me, take my peace away, hijack my stillness. For example, I vividly recall with not a little shame wrangling for the arm rest shared by the woman seated next to me. Once I established my part of that tiny real estate, I got back to what I was reading: Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.


The people on your flight tomorrow will be slow and rude. They will recline their seats into you. They will clog the aisles. They will watch videos on their phone without earbuds in. They will fight you for the armrests, even though they obviously belong to the person in the middle seat. They will take too long in the bathroom. And they will do ungodly things in there while they’re at it. They will take forever to deplane; they will not care that half the plane have connections to make.
They will do all these things, without fail, and no amount of frustrated muttering, anxiety, impatience, and dirty looks will fix it. Do you understand that? This is just how it is.
The real question is why? They are like this because they are flawed people. Because they don’t fly as much as you. Because they are dealing with their own anxiety and worries, because maybe they have had a nightmare of a trip so far, because they have their own connection to make.                                                       -Ryan Holiday

Being trapped in a thin metal tube, 35,000 feet above the earth with a diverse collection of humanity and no escape is not always fun. And sometimes it does not bring out the best in people.


It goes without saying that you don't have to fly the blue skies to encounter a black cloud created by an angry person online or in line. You can’t control what they do or say. You can, however, control how you deal with it- it's totally up to you to let what is occurring outside of you to pass through you. You do not have to let it "stick". Let your craw be for nutritional food and not the junk or funk of someone else's drama.