The Singapore Airlines flight was normal, including the usual suggestion from the pilot to keep your seatbelt fastened at all times. I have gotten used to the cliché. Frequently my mind tunes the sound out as if it has no meaning for me. This flight was different. In the back of my mind, I remembered something about unexpected turbulence and chop. The sudden drop, my contents of my stomach floating near the top of my throat, followed by a hard bottoming out jerked me back into reality.
Fortunately, my seatbelt was on. It is an old habit. The reminder came across the speakers, please fasten your seatbelt, parents, remove your child from the bassinet. The harsh reminder spoke to me of family, children, and communities. Each was represented on this flight. This was real life. We were at risk, together.
Warnings often come with tension and implied meaning. When “the captain dismissed the nephew with a warning: ‘Don’t breathe a word of this to a soul,’” (Acts 23.22) I doubt the nephew thought the warning was a good thing! This was real life. His uncle was at risk.
The blunt Singapore Airlines reminder was more than a warning. Life was inviting me to learn from the moment in my fear.
Being present in every moment opens up the opportunity to listen to others. Anything else blinds us to the compassion our community is trying to share with us.
Life is never about me. Life is about us. Bad things may happen to an individual however it touches a community. We are individually part of something greater than ourselves, even when we forget.
Warnings are often expressions of love and fear. I fear for you. I love you. In the context of these two, I wish for you the blessing. It requires action on your part. The words are a gift from my heart.
Our flight smoothed out, eventually. I fell asleep knowing I was part of something wonderful. On this flight and beyond, there were those who cared. I am part of something greater than me.