I am sitting in an airport right now, waiting for a flight back home. It’s been a wonderful trip so far, a few days of conferences, meetings, presentations, time with my goddaughter and even a gala dinner. A wonderful trip to Sydney and one I will remember for a long time.
I checked in early after what seemed like the lightest traffic in Sydney that I’ve seen in 10 years, had a great Uber driver and all in all things were going well.
Then I went to the line to go through security.
The security line at Sydney domestic airport has multiple entries, you can walk right past your check-in lane and walk down the back and join the line there (which I did) or you can come from the other side (from other carriers), or walk in the middle, where there are four or five lanes that converge in the same spot.
For some reason this time I happened to be one of the first ones to enter at this point in time from the check-in gates side.
A woman, who was now maybe one spot behind me as I merge into the line looks up from her phone
“Ummm the line is over there”
I said “actually the line starts in all of these places”
“Well not this line. This line starts there.” Pointing back to the middle entry.
“I'm sorry, are you serious?”
“The line starts over there”
“Ok, no problems.”
So I sauntered over to the back of the line. She went back to her phone and greasing me off like I was some kind of rule breaking maniac. Props to the guy who was lined up in-front of her (and was behind me for a brief time) that gave me a knowing “sheesh” in solidarity over the rudeness.
Meanwhile, as soon as she was past the merge point of the two lines, she conveniently ignored the point that was so important to her only seconds beforehand as the line filled up from people merging the lines, as they always do.
And that’s the bit that bothered me.
If you only hero things that affect you directly, you are an asshole.
If you feel so strongly about the integrity of the line, she could have easily looked at the person behind her and given them the same eyeroll, the same lecture and demanded that they went to the back of the line, but she didn’t because it no longer affected her.
These kinds of people are so frustrating, vocal, indignant and even rude about their self-centred inconveniences and then they go missing later on. It is a frustration that I see all the time.
I actually didn’t mind going to the back of the line, I wasn’t really inconvenienced, I had heaps of time before my flight, and as karma does, this rude woman was held up for a bomb detection scan and I got through the security at the same time as her anyway.
It is the fact that we allow people to maintain a narrow, self centered view of the world, and place over emphatic importance on inconvenience in their own lives, at the expense of others. This woman was quite happy to inconvenience me 15 spots in the line, to improve her convenience by 1 spot. Holding up imaginary rules that she made up on the spot and then promptly forgot once she was past her own inconvenience. By the time we went through the scanners that same line was probably 30 people deep.
Anyway, obviously I am fine, I will board the plane have a great flight and go to my wonderful home, it hasn’t ruined my zen because I just nodded, smiled and went to the back of the line. I was wearing a t-shirt that said JustBeNice on it after all! I just ask that if you see your friends acting like self-centered assholes you call them out on it, so they don’t ruin anyone elses zen.
If you find your zen being attacked, simply remember that we are all essentially the same, each with out own problems and remember that the only thing you can actually control is how you act. Be considerate of others, look at the world through the eyes of people around you, encourage compassion and consideration in those around you and remember that if it isn't a big deal, it isn't a big deal. So be cool, keep your zen together.... and then blog about it later.
Sneaky shoutout to Virgin Australia as well for always providing outstanding service whenever I travel, I am fortunate to have always had fantastic experiences, when I am flying. Legends.
Keep smiling, stay zen, and as always, just be nice.
-Josh Reid Jones
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports