The Middle Seat
I boarded a flight last Friday, headed for Phoenix, AZ. It was on one of those airlines that doesn’t give seat assignments. You have to hope you board towards the beginning. I always hope that I can score an aisle seat, where on the plane doesn’t matter to me.
I was able to get an aisle seat, yay! When the final passengers were boarding, a guy asked if he could take the middle seat next to me. I motioned him in. He was a big guy, and we joked about the middle seat. He said, “No one wants the middle seat.” I laughed and agreed. No one does want the middle seat.
Well, after three hours of thought-provoking conversation with this young man, I dare to say that we were both so grateful for the insights and perceptions that we had just shared.
What did I learn from Daniel in the middle seat? Quite a lot, actually:
- Perspective is a gift.
- Life is for living.
- Life has serious, heavy burdens to bear and lessons to learn
- Life is amazing nonetheless.
- The little moments of God’s grace mean everything.
- Being valued feels really great.
- Bringing value to others feels even better!
- Don’t settle. Keep reaching for more, because you can.
- Take really good care of the people in your life who matter to you.
- Allow those you’re closest to the space to feel their feelings and to be who God has called them to be, no matter what that looks like to you and for you.
- Sometimes the wisest words come from where you least expect them.
- If you look for meaning in life, you will find it. Never stop looking for it.
- Other people matter. Give them the chance to show you that.
- Sometimes we hurt others by things we say or do. It helps to remember not to take it personally when people are throwing a big ball of negativity your way. This is called being the bigger person, or taking the high road. Being right is not an attitude you take on the high road.
I will never look at the middle seat the same way again. And I think I said it already, but perspective is a gift. Thank you, Daniel (who ate the gingerbread man)!