"I Will Help You."
June 27th 2016
The weirdness started when I was headed home from a speaking gig. Riding from my hotel to the airport, Don the cab driver mentioned that he supports a presidential candidate that I don't. This could have been a nightmarish trip, but it wasn’t. We spent the whole 45 minute ride talking and listening to each other. We were both questioning, searching, wondering how to make our country better. When we reached the airport, I searched for my eyeglasses so I could sign my receipt; when I couldn't find them, Don lent me his. We thanked each other for the good discussion and said goodbye.
The strangeness continued in the airport. I discovered that I was booked on my flight home — but for the previous day. When the ticket agent revealed the error, I took a very deep breath. Then I said, "OK. What do we do now?" I did not feel angry, just stressed and worried that I wouldn't get home that day. My voice and manner were calm. I accepted my fate. "Everything happens for a reason," said the agent. I agreed, and I meant it.
And that's when magic happened. The ticket agent looked at me and said, "I will help you." This young angel called her supervisor over. Together, they pushed buttons and worked miracles. They rebooked me on the right flights. At no charge. Yes. You read that correctly.
As I was nearly crying with gratitude and gushing my thanks to the two ticket agents, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was Don the cab driver, who had driven back to the airport to return my reading glasses he had found. Almost unbelievable.
These three people were complete strangers to me. As all of us know, things could have gone very differently, and sometimes they do. But this time was magic. Each of them said, in one way or another, “I will help you.”
What was my role in making magic that day? Other than blind luck, a few of my own choices contributed. I:
- chose to be calm and open-hearted.
- took responsibility for the error, even before I knew for sure that it was mine (which it was).
- focused on getting home and remained flexible about how to make that happen.
- was utterly present with all three people, knowing when to engage and when to shut up.
- didn't allow any differences of style or opinion to separate us.
- accepted each moment as if I had chosen it (thank you, Eckhart Tolle)
Oh, and my speaking gig? It was called Stress and the Stories We Tell Ourselves. You can't make this stuff up.