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We're all in the same boat

Friday, 15 January, 2010 - 5:34 am

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The day of our flight back from Paris to Athens, it snowed. To the delight of the children, we woke up in a magical world covered in white. For them, snow meant playing outside, building a snowman and even shoveling (even Levi, 2 years old, tried to help!). For us, snow meant also a probable delay of our flight and difficult traffic.France 165.jpg
Thankfully, thanks to internet, we knew right away that our flight would be delayed 2 ½ hours. So we left my parents’ home later but still gave ourselves plenty of time to navigate the icy roads and the slow traffic. When we arrived to the airport, we learned that our flight will have some more delay. So the waiting started.
The most distressing part was that no final hour was given, so we were left wondering if our flight will actually leave or maybe get canceled. Eventually, our plane arrived, and we all boarded, only to wait some more… for some passengers that did not show up for boarding (their luggage had to be located and taken out). After this was cleared up, the plane started to move, to the applause of the passengers. Alas, it stopped, and we started waiting again, until the pilot announced that there was a technical problem (with the heating of the windows, if I understood correctly) and that we would have to disembark… Just imagine people’s reactions! Hungry and tired, most had been waiting from the morning in the airport, and here you had one more delay to cope with… To make a long story short, we finally boarded another plane, which left Paris with a 7 hour delay.
What was interesting is that sharing the same discomfort and annoyance made all the passengers feel close one to each other. People were complaining together, joking together, sharing stories of other delays etc. It reminded me of my year of teaching in Paris, where I would take the train every morning at the same time. Eventually, I started recognizing some faces, who took the same train at the same hour… But nobody spoke, nobody as much as cracked a smile… It seems that the attitude de rigueur was making a long face… ;-) Until there were some strikes of the trains personnel, and suddenly, the ice melted. As we were all being squashed in one of the rare trains circulating, everybody was cursing the train company together :), everybody was speaking and laughing together… In the hot wagon, with all the people begin on top of each other for lack of space, people were imaging new slogans for the SNCF (French Railway Company): “SNCF guarantees you a warm atmosphere on board!” or” “The SNCF brings people closer!”.
And indeed, it seems that there is nothing as a shared inconvenience (or even worse, a tragedy G-d forbid) to bring people closer. But why wait for these disagreements to be friendly and warm to each other? We have to realize we are all in the same boat from the very beginning, and that a smile and a good word will not take away from us, on the contrary!
So let’s be friendly and welcoming to each other, and our ride in this world will be much more pleasant!


Comments on: We're all in the same boat

Hiona-Hanna Tsavdaris wrote...

"So let’s be friendly and welcoming to each other, and our ride in this world will be much more pleasant!" Nehama

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with you and as Vayikra says: " you shall love your fellow as yourself." Let's put these thoughts into action and help create a much better world . We can do it if we all try.