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William and Flight 235

31 Dec

Our paths crossed William’s and mine…On a 6 AM flight from Cleveland to Atlanta. He was making his way home to San Antonio, TX and I like everyone else was criss-crossing the skies on non-direct flights from North to South to get West.

A few years ago kind William had been in the military serving his country proudly, defending our freedom…. But his last deployment to Afghanistan had left him an amputee. In place of a left leg were pieces of metal and bolts with a sneaker attached where a foot should have been. The war and his injuries were too much for his now ex-wife and along with his left leg he lost his marriage to that war as well.

We had talked about current events, some “attention getter headliners” and in his nonjudgmental tone his opinions was clear…And as he had gone through a healing process, William remains hopeful that much in our society that is now broken will mend as well

The war might have taken a physical toll, but William’s emotional and spiritual life is rock solid. He lives within his inner-peace and kindness. He doesn’t blame anyone or hold anger for what should or should not have been…William is filled with gratitude for all the pieces and parts of his life.

At 37, William is in graduate school getting his Masters in psychology and volunteers in schools where much is broken. He tells the kids the only way out is through education….He is going to relearn to swim in 2015 and p.s. he’s been dating someone special since April.

I believe people come into our life for a reason…For me, William is the happy and hopeful of the New Year!

Wishing you all a William in 2015!

American’s Personal Space!

1 Aug

Just returned home after being away (traveling) for about two weeks. A friend of mine has a great saying..”It’s always wonderful to travel but it’s always so good to return home.” And that is exactly how I feel in this moment in time!

I was in and out of several different airports and planes….

…AND…

It finally occurred to me why traveling has become so stressful to so many…

Not only have airports turned into one big fast food shopping mart with loud music and bright flashing lights, imitating the streets of Broadway…

But more importantly, it goes against everything Americans believe in…

For example…

Americans love their invisible personal space. You know what I’m talking about, that well known amount of space between you and everyone else. The majority of people know that proper/comfortable distance (not too close or too far). I hate it when someone is talking to me and stands too close. I start to back up, desperately trying to rescue my personal space.  And as I keep backing up, they keep moving forward, seeming oblivious to the reason why someone would walk backwards while talking…AND…God forbid I can actually feel the heat of their breath as they speak, much-less smell it., Disguising and super UCK X2.

Also…

Americans love to pretend other people don’t exist. Again, don’t play stupid with me…You know you ignore everyone in that Starbuck’s line in the morning and certainly on city buses/subways, and at your gym.

Plus…

Americans are not born into a cast system (no royals) though it could be argued America’s royals are movie stars (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) along with sport figures (Lebron James and Kevin Durant) just to mention a few.

And, as I sat on the plane, in my seat, for the final leg of my travels, it finally dawned on me…

…what the whole stress thing is about…Airlines throw strangers into small/limiting room forcing the break-down of personal space, mandating people to sit too close (touching body parts) needing to interact (talk) with strangers, as well as needing to tolerate the most annoying smells and habits of the masses with no possibility of escaping for hours!

And the final stress breaker is the “Cast System” of loading a plane. There are the privilege (Gold Medallion, First Class, Zone 1) that receives privileges that include (but far from limiting) a walk on a different carpet before boarding.

And as you stand with a $700 ticket in hand waiting for the privilege of being treated like a farm animal, almost giving the impression you’re in a scene from the movie Titanic.

But with all that said,

…If my plane takes off and lands safely I’m filled with gratitude which always includes a smile and a thank you to the pilots and flight attendants for a job well done!

P.S. Just a suggestion to ensure a less stressful travel day for so many, please don’t forget to shower before going to the airport along with double dosing the deodorant  :)!…I’m just saying!

Happy Trials Everyone…

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