Choose to smile.

IMG_5159Be kind. It’s not hard.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel a few times recently. Sometimes strangers show grace and kindness to others in airports and on planes. I’ve also seen the opposite.

As one family of six was trying to corral all their small children onto an airport tram before the doors automatically closed, another passenger sighed with disgust because he had to move to make room in time. I gestured and asked him to move – a family is trying to stay together. The family barely made it on board with all six kids. The stranger rolled his eyes.

On another flight, a man was getting very frustrated as we boarded a plane because the couple in front of him couldn’t get their bags in the bins fast enough and, of course, the bins above their seat were full. I watched this man make about every ugly face he could muster… to the backs of their heads.

Here’s the observation. Everyone is trying to get to their destination and there are varying levels of traveling experience racked up by those around you. When someone seems to be slowing you down or in your way, just smile, be kind and helpful. The people I’ve watched get worked up, shake their head, grimace or even say nasty things under their breath at other travelers are only making themselves unhappy. Usually the person they are frustrated with is just fine. And it certainly doesn’t speed anything up or make things better.

This is also true when traveling through life’s adventures. You can choose to get mad at those around you who seem to be keeping you from your destination or you can smile, be patient or work around it. Relax. Smile. Be kind to other “travelers” who may not have as much travel time as you.

Given the option of traveling with a scowl or smile, I choose smile. 🙂