5 Mar 09

Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel – Part 1

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Over the next few days I’m going to post the chapter from my book called…

Nature, Soul and Respect

“When we think of the psyche, if we think about it at all, as a cousin to the brain and therefore something essentially internal. But ancient psychologists taught that our own souls are inseparable from the world’s soul, and that both are found in all the many things that make up nature and culture.”
Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Recently, I was working and having dinner at Typhoon, a chic and very established restaurant (and one of my regular haunts) in the Santa Monica airport. Sitting at the bar, I met a charming, smart and very handsome 90-year-old man – he did not look a day over sixty. A retired flight instructor and pilot for American Airlines, Gary is still active in aviation, flying private jets, and flying for Angel Flight, a not-for-profit organization whose members use their own planes to transport medical patients in need of treatment at no cost to the patient.

Having just returned from a trip abroad, Gary and I were talking about how much things have changed in the friendly skies. We discussed the apparent lack of respect people show fellow passengers and flight attendants– the skies are not so friendly anymore. Traveling and flying in the year 2005 has become more like a Greyhound Bus station in the sky – people show up wearing pajama bottoms as pants, have to be told before take off not to BYOB on the plane (this is against federal law and is not in compliance with FAA rules) – getting straight to the point people, can be downright disrespectful and dreadfully rude at times.

Gary went on to tell me that he and one of his peers often complain that the newer generations are “more selfish.” They call these folks “The Me Generation.” I told him about a negative experience I had with a middle-aged man on a plane flying back to Los Angeles.

The man was trying to fit his oversized carry-on bag into the overhead compartment, aggressively jamming it against my smaller, regulation-size bag. Over and over again, though it was obviously not going to fit, he kept smashing his bag into mine. Switching into Hall Monitor mode (my ex used to call me “the Hall Monitor” and said that I needed to wear an armband), I informed him that I had a glass cosmetic bottle in my carry on, and asked him to please stop. He said some pretty nasty stuff, and when the flight attendant came over to help, he said angrily tried to turn the blame on me. “She has glass in her bag,” I said back “Yes, I do and your bag won’t fit because I have glass in my bag?” It made no sense. Too bad I wasn’t’ wearing an entire “Hall Monitor” uniform complete with a large, silver badge.

Gary was not surprised by my story. This is a man who has seen a lot during his 90 years on planet Earth. For a large portion of his life he has been responsible for countless people’s lives, day after day, in his career and volunteer work. His personal experience allows him to speak with truth about respect for others lives as well as his own. He said, “The lack of respect has become more noticeable now because it has disappeared.”

To be continued…

  • What do you think?

About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”
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