By Mark E. Smith
I smiled – as always – when I rolled up to the airline ticket counter, and offered a friendly good morning to the ticket agent, placing my companion’s identification card and mine on the counter. The agent took our I.D.s, pulled up our tickets, and said, “You’re going to have to check your bag – that’ll be $25.”
“It’s a carry-on,” I replied, glancing at my bag.
“No, it’s too big to be a carry-on,” she replied. “You have to check it.”
“It’s a certified carry-on, and I’ve flown with it countless times as a carry-on, never checking it,” I explained.
“Do you want to fly today or not?” she asked. “”If so, I need that bag and $25.”
I suppose I could have asked to set the bag on the measuring board, or asked to speak to a manager, but I didn’t want to make the agent any angrier than she was, I didn’t want to add any fuel to whatever was burning her up inside that morning. So, I simply checked the bag as she insisted.
As my travel companion and I headed toward security screening, my companion was outraged, not understanding why the agent was so rude? “I don’t know why she was so rude,” I answered. “People are rude all the time. I just hope her day gets better.”
I was heading home from a successful business trip; I was blessed that $25 wasn’t an issue for me to afford; and, I was excited to be going home to my daughter. Really, I was happy to just be on my way – no worries at all.
The fact is, not everyone is going to like you or be kind to you – often for no reason at all. From your own family members to complete strangers, people are going to be rude, unkind, possibly downright mean. However, we have the choice of buying into their misery, or just letting it roll off us like water on glass – not letting it stick. If we know we are living kind, loving lives that give to others, it’s doing ourselves an injustice to let others bring us down. Be yourself – celebrated, not degraded or just tolerated.
I had a nice flight home, ultimately reaching the arms of my welcoming daughter. And, I truly hope that ticket agent’s day turned out just as well.