This last Monday, I was at the airport boarding the plane for a work trip. As I got on the plane, I smiled at the young flight attendant and greeted her with a friendly “Good morning.”
She looked up at me with a bright smile and replied, “Good morning! It’s good to be seen. Thank you for seeing me!”
I was immediately confused. I honestly didn’t know what she meant. I wondered if she’d been sick and hadn’t been around for a while and perhaps she was glad to be back and “seen.” It was a stretch, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything else it could be.
Once we were in the air, she started serving us our drinks. I was the last person in my row to be served and had watched her efficiently and politely serve my fellow passengers. Everyone looked at their drinks to make sure they weren’t spilled. No one looked at the person serving them.
Only one mumbled a thank you. It sounded routine, like a reflex drilled into someone operating in polite society. It didn’t sound genuine.
It was then that I understood her earlier comment to me. What she remarked upon, what she clearly appreciated, was a genuine smile and sincere greeting. It’s a simple thing, but it made a big difference to her!
I don’t write about this to put down my fellow passengers. I know how easy it is to let the busyness of life take over. I know how easy it is to get caught up in your own struggles and forget about those around you.
I write about this to push back against that very tendency. I want to take a moment to solemnly remind myself that no matter how busy I am, that I can always treat the people around me with dignity and respect.
Because sometimes, all they want is to be seen.
See you at the finish line.
-The Jack of Spades