Yesterday, Nelly over at A Tea Tray in the Sky wrote this post. I read it before going to bed last night, and it's been on my mind ever since. I'm not really sure why. I mean, there's the obvious: I follow Nelly's blog and don't like to hear that anything bad or even inconvenient has happened to her. I've never met Nelly, don't know her real name, don't know where she lives. I wouldn't know which airport to go to if I did offer to pick her up after a flight (which would make it a pretty empty and/or moronic gesture...) So why can't I just let it go?
I love picking friends up from the airport and try to get there at least 20 minutes early so I can people watch at the arrivals gate. The opening scene of Love, Actually sums it up very nicely. I love the way travelers come through gate looking weary and worn until the instant they spot the person meeting them. The exhaustion and tension melts away and is replaced by happiness that seems to radiate from both parties. Regardless of who the travelers are to each other or where they are in their travels, you get a sense of homecoming.
I can understand that making the trip to the airport can sometimes be a hassle especially with the reliability of today's flights- just when you resign yourself to every flight being late and let yourself get to the airport a couple minutes after the scheduled arrival, you find out you should have been an hour early because that's when the plane landed! I know that I'm a little nutty for being happy about a delayed flight, but can you blame me? When the plane is late I get to people watch that much longer. What I don't really get is offering to pick someone up from the airport and then not showing up, or any other slight like that. Telling someone you'll show up early to help with a dinner party and then arriving with the first guests, offering to babysit and cancelling 5 minutes before you're expected, or otherwise making commitments you have no intention of keeping. Of course I realize that things happen, unexpected circumstances can keep you from being where you're supposed to be. That, my friends, is why we all have cell phones. Call, text, tweet, face book, anything! Just let someone know you won't be there as planned! I'd rather hear you're not coming than find out after after waiting around for too long because I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I guess that's what really got to me about Nelly's post. I want to believe that people are inherently good. I want to see the best in people and think they have the very best of intentions. I don't want to believe that it's possible for people to be careless, hurtful or mean simply because they're too selfish to see beyond their own comfort. I'm not stupid. I know that think kind of thinking leads to disappointment and heartache. I just choose not to dwell on this. I want to hope for the best, to be the eternal optimist, to believe in the goodness of mankind in general. Yes, I'm disappointed often. Friends make fun of me for being too nice and call me a hopeless romantic. My family cautions against heartache and scolds me for letting people take advantage of me and walk all over me. Nothing will ever stop me from hoping, though, because that one moment of joy makes it all worth it. The one time my friend walks through the arrivals gate and sees me waiting, the random act of kindness that allows one stranger to brighten another's whole day, the person who simply does the right thing- that is what I believe in and hope for and when it happens, even once, it makes all the other times worth it.