Saturday, June 28, 2008

Humble Pie

No doubt you have heard the recent buzz on ABC News about American Airlines removing a 2 year old passenger with autism and his mother from a flight. It has been well editorialized here at A Life Less Ordinary. Emily's moral of the story is basic: Do not touch another person's child without permission! I have two impressions. First, how easily it could have been avoided.

Second, how easily it could have been us. Just as Kristina Chew at Autism Vox shares, I have a "trove of near-horror stories" having traveled at least once a year cross continent since our twins were 6 months old. I recall the worst incident laying over in Reno on Southwest. A seatbelt stand off between Reid and my husband (not a flight attendant) who wanted it buckled NOW. (The plane was about to land.) I think a Sprite spilled and one thing led to another...before we knew it we were watching what could only be described as a full scale anxiety attack. The only differences from the Farrell's being, we were landing not taking off and we were in a front row so we could bolt off the plane into the terminal for some relative privacy. I will never fly anywhere near Reno again! Slots being pulled everywhere in pervasive smoke, I ducked into a corridor and waited until Reid could think straight. My husband and daughter, mortified by the gawking crowd, fielded questions from ground agents and officers.

In contrast, I recall being ushered by other travelers and personnel to cut to the front of the line getting through Customs in London. All could see that we needed to expedite the process or Reid was going to blow. It's not rocket science but it does take a little insight, flexibility, and humility.

To the current buzz I have to add this video dramatization. It is set within a sermon by our former pastor, Neal Nybo, at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. The entire sermon on Humility is great, but if you are short on time go to 16:15 on the counter to watch another mother with her grown daughter to see what they experience in the air.

Please advance to 16:15 on the counter, to view the airline scene which is about 6 minutes long.

Each of us have the choice, fellow traveler, stewardess, mother, child. Which role will you play?

"Christ who...did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:6-7

" Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-13

Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' Matthew 25:40

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