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The Triage of Kindness

Updated: Jan 26

Tonight, on the flight home from Santiago, many languages came together for their flight back home, or continuing on to another adventure. There, I saw kindness in our small triage of seats joined by the aisle.


I had purchased a piece of art at a gallery in Valparaiso, but unfortunately, missed meeting the 74 year-young French artist by a day. I carried it on the plane spaced between cardboard. It was too large to fit under the seat, so I placed it flat in the overhead bin. A passenger “kitty-corner” from me saw that it might not be the best place with bags shuffled, and pulled, as passengers threw them to a spot. He asked if he could place it on top of his bag to protect the art. (how did he know it was art?) I greatly appreciated his kindness for saving my ice skater piece.


Next to me, sat a Taiwanese woman with her older son in the seat ahead. We communicated with each other by showing a thumbs up, or a quick smile. She offered me a stick of doublemint gum which my dad always chewed on our long car vacation trips when I was younger. I took the gum and then noticed she gave me two. I tried to give her the extra piece, but she insisted I have both. I smiled. I then realized that she had thought ahead for both the take off, and the landing, by giving me 2 sticks of gum. —Kindness.


After our in-flight dinner,  I noticed the younger man across the aisle was writing in a leather journal with a beautiful, black ink pen. It gave out. He scratched it over and over on his dinner napkin but it was dry. I pulled a cheap, blue ballpoint pen from my backpack, and handed it to him. He smiled. He was grateful for the pen. He told me he wanted to continue the flow of his Patagonia adventure in his book before it had left him.


The airplane aisle of kindness, from a bag shuffle, to gum, to the use of a cheap pen. I’m sure it is always around us, I was just lucky enough to take notice today.🧡 -jules gissler



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