Several weeks ago, I completely missed a flight. And by missed a flight, I mean that I wasn’t even at the airport when my flight left the ground. That’s a bad feeling. I had an unending list of excuses for why I missed my flight, but in the end, I knew that no excuse made up for the fact that I planned poorly. I felt frantic and rushed. I was nervous about the cost of changing flights. But mostly I was disappointed in myself for my failure.
The airlines attendant who answered my last minute call reassured me that I would definitely not make the flight. Not helpful. I needed someone to help me solve my problem. The next person informed me that if I made it to the airport within two hours, I could fly stand by at no cost. She wasn’t comforting, but she was helpful. I found myself hoping she assumed I missed my flight because of an emergency or because I’m a selfless, Good Samaritan willing to risk my flight. Neither of which was true.
Once I reached security, the TSA officer who checked my ID smiled at me with authenticity and graciousness. The kind of smile that made me realize he noticed me as a human. Maybe he saw how frazzled I looked and smiled to cheer me up. Maybe he is just especially kind. But his smile and his innocent eye contact released a freedom in me. I didn’t give an excuse. I didn’t feel I needed to convince this stranger of my value even though I missed my flight and my confession fell from my mouth. His smile never faded, never changed. “It’s going to be okay” was all he said. And I knew he was right.
The reality is I didn’t need to know I was out of luck. I didn’t need to know that my lack of planning caused problems. I just needed someone to reassure me, It’s going to be okay. I didn’t know the man. He didn’t know me. The moment was futile. But, he gave a minute of his time to place value on my life, which made the moment significant.
The little things add up to become the big things. Find a way to show kindness. Do it every day. Because everyday life, moves mountains. It is in the mundane that people are set free.
In the ordinary moments, the magic happens.