Stranger on a Plane: Post Election Kindness

handsNovember 15, 2016 – – Yesterday was one week since the historic presidential election that yielded surprising results. There have been riots, fear, hate, speculation, adulation, and celebration throughout our country every day since the results have been announced.  If your candidate lost or if your candidate won everyone seems to be in a bit of a daze and very cautious because the outcome was so unexpected.

As I was flying back from West Palm Beach to New York ( business, not pleasure), about 20 minutes before landing we hit turbulence. And it was hairy. The plane pitched and dropped, and there were screams,  not mine but from those around me. I became very fidgety. As a frequent and relaxed flyer turbulence rarely bothers me. Not yesterday. I think I was tired, somewhat anxious and preoccupied ( not election-related but work/ life-related) and I was susceptible to fear.

Out of instinct, I grabbed the hand of the man next to me, a complete stranger who had a 20% resemblance to my husband. I said to him, “Would you mind holding my hand”? Without hesitation, he took my hand and said, “Of course. You’ll be fine; we’ve got this”. We sat silently holding hands for about 10 minutes until we landed. I found myself leaning into him, holding on tightly and not feeling the least bit awkward. Safely on the ground I turned to him and thanked him, and he replied with a smile. That was it. We didn’t exchange any more words, never asked to know one another’s name. It didn’t matter. I don’t care who he voted for or what he does for a living because it doesn’t  matter.

As I write this at 5 am on Wednesday morning, I am still not feeling awkward about the incident at all, although part of me feels I should. But yesterday it was nice to be reminded that in the end, most people are good and kind and decent and that even though things may look dangerous and people are afraid, that if everyone finds a way to come together, we’ll be fine, we’ve got this.




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