i threw up once at the airport and twice on the airplane.
having food poisoning was not exactly an ideal way to travel, nor was it what i had envisioned on the first day of my adventure to new york city, to say the least. but if there is one thing i have learned in the short 23 years of my life, it is to make the best out of every situation. and so i did. well, i didn’t actually…complete strangers did. without being too graphic or offering visual depictions of my grossly upset stomach, i’ll just let you know that on an already overcrowded airplane, throw-up is generally not welcome. i however, felt quite welcome.
today was meaningful because i was re-shown the power of kindness. i’ve always been a firm believer in being unnecessarily kind and i’ve found that compassion for others is generally the right answer. fortunately, i’m not the only one. so in the midst of my ‘unpleasant situation,’ a woman went to the bathroom and got me some cold napkins to put on my neck. someone else offered me their paper bag, while another person alerted the flight attendant that i would need something a little bigger. i’m not the kind of person that typically gets embarrassed, particularly because i don’t think there is anything in life to get embarrassed about. and because of this, i didn’t feel embarrassed on the plane so much as i felt bad for the people around me. but amazingly, the people were more concerned about me than themselves. someone gave me their hand sanitizer (thankfully) and the man sitting diagonal from me offered a piece of gum. the people on the plane didn’t really do anything heroic and yes, their actions were ordinary. but they were also kind. and that is important.
i didn’t have to feel guilty or embarrassed in addition to being sick; instead, i felt grateful to be surrounded by such warm-hearted people. how you treat the ones you love says a lot about you as a friend; but how you treat people you don’t know says a lot about you as a person. if you look for it, you’ll see that good is all around you.
and i’ll always believe that compassion for others has the power to change the world.
while they could’t end my food poisoning, they made me feel better.
be kind to a stranger today.
you never know what kind of day they might be having.