I’m a frequent traveler on America’s favorite domestic airline. There is no question in my mind – they are, for the most part, very good. The website is excellent yet could still be improved. Telephone service is, in the main, extremely professional, courteous, and kind. Pilots and flight attendants are, again in the main, profession and customer oriented. Given everything above, the occasional performance gaps are automatically forgiven. I understand their intent, I can see their actions.
Yet, as strong as things are, everything hinges on the next experience. Will it signal a new direction? Will others reinforce the change going forward? Can the great history sustain itself over time? Only experiential actions will tell the tale. Their standing, my experience, and the incredible growth experienced to date pivots on the action of each employee. Hmmm, I wonder what will unfold.
As I talked about the present and future of the airlines with a senior flight attendant, he touched on a critical point of vulnerability. “We are as strong or as weak as the training we give our new attendants. Their performance is the primary foundation for your experience. We cannot expect the best without taking the time to mentor, train, and nurture.”
I couldn’t agree more! It doesn’t stop with this airline. This analysis touches every part of your life and mine. When I read that “he'll [God] raise that rallying banner high, visible to all nations, gather in all the scattered exiles of Israel, pull in all the dispersed refugees of Judah from the four winds and the seven seas” (Isaiah 11.12) I know what the future will bring. Yet the hope of the future will mean little if there isn’t hope in the present. The present rests, to a large part, on the actions of those in the community. Translated – this is your role and mine. We determine what others see of the values and priorities we hold most dear.
Action is not about history, it’s the present. We can lift others up to the Hope we know. We are light in darkness.
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