He was standing hundreds of miles away when he got the news: his mother lay dying. He booked the next flight out, hoping, praying that he’d get there in time. He had one chance to get to her, one chance to say goodbye. She was fading quickly.
But things started going wrong. A delay, long enough to affect his next flight, the last flight of the day. A day could be too long. His mother didn’t have a day.
His heart broken, tears began streaming down his face in the middle of the airplane. He may not get the chance to say goodbye.
This story could have ended there. Many stories end in tragedy.
But this story didn’t end on the airplane.
The crew noticed this man and they heard his story. They relayed it to the pilot who radioed ahead and asked the man’s next flight to wait.
And they did.
The man got to his mother in time to tell her goodbye but he wouldn’t have had the chance without those two crews. He didn’t take it for granted. After his mother’s death, the man wrote a letter to the airline, thanking them, praising those individuals who helped him.
True story. (You can read it here.)
Sometimes it’s nice to find a good story in the news. Sure, this one involves death, but it highlights the compassionate actions of people who had no incentive to help. In fact, they could have been penalized for delaying a flight — one delay can affect dozens of passengers. But in this case, they chose well. They chose compassion. They chose empathy.
There’s not enough in this world. But that day, there was a little more than normal.
Because they chose compassion.