I love airports for one reason. They are among the best places in the world to watch people. Being in an airport often turns into a living amusement park with people as the main attraction. It is as if they are on display for my personal entertainment, reflection, and training seminar. I know that they are not but sometimes I just wonder. The bad news is that everything is out there for people to learn from including the courteous, belligerent, cheat, liar, and the Samaritan.
I wish I knew the stories behind the behavior on display. The contrast and proverbs are so incredible! A single parent with a small child in London was a classic example of the fact that “a parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child” (Proverbs 19.14a). An older Dutch couple’s behavior brought to mind the fact that “a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.” (Proverbs 19.14b) The kindness shown by a priest to several people around them stood out in stark contrast to the attitude of two young businessmen late for something they considered important.
I know there are explanations and stories behind the apparent “bad” things out on display. It is probable that the very people who are doing “good” things fall later in the day to a weakness that was hidden to my observation. I do know that I consistently find myself reflecting and in a state of puzzling wonder as I consider the choices I make that touch the lives of people around me.
Do I realize how blatant my attitude is to the people around me?
Do I care about how I treat others 100% of the time or do I merely respond to an “A” list that receive something special or different?
How do my actions stand up against the values and priorities I hold close to my heart, especially when nobody is around that I know of to watch?
Airports continue to provide great lessons. Increasingly I find that the lessons are all around me. I wonder; am I learning or just observing?