The most important trips aren’t about getting somewhere. They’re about getting to someone. (via Elliott.org) This is one statement that struck me one morning as I was browsing the news online. You can actually read the Time article here written by William Lee Adams. As I was reading this article about a Southwest Airlines pilot who risked his job and the credibility of his company by delaying a plane flight just to give way to a passenger whose grandchild just died, three insights came to my mind:
1. Relationships matter most.
When was the last time you had to put off some serious talk with a parent or a close friend just because you have some project or office work to do? Sure, we have to know our priorities. And there are times when we have to draw the line between our relationships and our tasks that have to be done. But in the end, on our deathbed, what we will be longing for are not our awards and achievements, but the people we, hopefully, have invested our lives on. Beyond the school/office policies and the deadlines our schoolmates, students, teachers, employees, bosses–they are people, too. They also need ears to listen, hands to give them a pat on the back, arms to hug them, and eyes that would give them genuine attention. People matter more than issues, and much more than papers.
2. Blogging reaches the world.
Well, at least for those who have a good share of followers or readers. But it does not matter, anyway. The Internet is one wide avenue to share your thoughts and ideas–all the more when they’re worth sharing. It’s amazing how people across the globe who do not even know you and would not care to know about you would actually get interested in a topic you write about. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences; good memories are often too good to be just hidden for your self. One good word might mean nothing to you but a whole lot for someone out there who’s needing it badly.
3. Heavy losses are big opportunities to learn significant life lessons.
When I lost my phone, I realize that material possessions, no matter how much you treasure them, will perish. It’s when I lost my phone that I realize there are a lot of wonderful things to focus in the here and now. With my phone I used to think I manage to communicate with people physically far from me. But then I forget the people I actually share the same room with, these people I can actually see and feel. When I lost my phone, I felt my world quickly became smaller, but realized it also became richer in terms of my relationship with people close at hand.
When I lost a set of friends who are very dear to my heart, I initially became so bitterly disappointed. But later on I learned the value of moving on, but at the same time never giving up on loving them. You move on and decide to be happy despite the bad experience, yet you remain a friend to them–caring and praying for them even when they fail to do the same for you.
When I lost my mother, I learned that life is not meant to be lived for one person alone, or for a few. This is because no matter how hard it is to accept the truth, these people we love would have to leave us–whether they choose to or they have to. Life, rather, is meant to live for Him by whom we exist and for whom we are made.
Now back to the article about a Southwest Airlines pilot turned hero. He did a small thing for an ordinary man because of an extraordinary purpose–and is then looked up to as an online hero. Actually, we ourselves are heroes in the varied roles we fulfill in the lives of people we touch. Whether you are a student, a teacher, an employee, a boss, a leader of only one follower, a follower who listens to only one leader, there will always be at least one person who looks up to you and whom you have an influence on. Every word you say then and every move you make matters. And the choice depends on you, whether to bestow good or bad influence. The moment you step out of your comfort zone to make life brighter even to just one single person is the moment you become a hero.
“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.” –Edgar Watson Howe