Life is about giving back to this world in your own small way as long as you have your time here.Therefore each of us is destined to be someone.. a doctor,an engineer ,a businessman ,a businesswoman,a teacher ,a speaker ,a technician,a plumber and the list goes on.Each of them have their own way of giving back to the society we live in.Some in form of services and some in form of developing others to be better human beings.
I had decided early out of high school that I would be a flight attendant.Though it had been an attractive career choice for decades,it still remained difficult for many to fit into the shoes of a flight attendant..That made the profession even more sought after..At the same time there were many who detested my choice saying I wanted to be a flight attendant only to enjoy the wild glamorous world of aviation and in the bargain tarnish my image of being a good ,simple and sweet girl in the neighborhood.
I was aghast at how many assumptions and impressions were carved on peoples’ minds regarding flying as a career.They only looked at it as wearing short skirts ,bright lipstick and honey trapping the pilots in order to enjoy life that revolved around Rolex,Louis Vuitton and Versace..
No one ever gave it a thought that flying is a great way to give back to the society….Yeah ,u may ask…And how is that?In what way?
When I chose flying it wasn’t because I would get to wear a dazzling uniform , bright make up and look good.It was because I always thought I could share kindness,care and humility with the people I would fly.Also i wasn’t attracted by the destinations i would fly to.I always put my rest first whenever I flew long haul, although seeing almost every country in the world is one of the many priceless perks of flying.
I had always been a quiet,shy and a closed individual at heart.I would always think that people are making an impression about me as I am talking to them.So i wouldn’t say much and choose to be shut.That way they would only know me on the outside and never judge me as a person..I was petrified of being judged ,of being labelled as dumb or boring or just an average kid or anything of that sort.
Flying gave me an opportunity to open myself to people without the fear of being judged.You just had those few minutes or may be those few hours on a long haul to connect to someone and then never see them again..But these few moments of courteous and genuine conversation created a positive aura around you and the guest .It was such a wonderful feeling that I could make a connection with a complete stranger, make him comfortable, get to know him or her a little and converse about how life treated us in our own ways..It did break the ice but most importantly it made me feel confident,valued, grateful and content.
When guests board your aircraft and you are standing at the door greeting them ,it is easy to notice that every mind climbing up the step ladder or the aerobridge is preoccupied with something.Someone on a vacation is hoping all goes well,someone on a business trip is mentally rehearsing his or her presentation,an old parent flying to see their child is already thinking how much he or she will be missing them once they have to fly back…..There are endless thoughts that I can list here.Each of them carry a psychological baggage which is much heavier than the one in their hands.
In your role as a flight attendant you have the power to ease their psychological baggage during the few hours of flight and in the bargain get to know them a little better.Sure sometimes many of these small conversations result into lifelong friendships and even sometimes a very special bond between you two…But mostly it is just a healthy conversation that you and the guest enjoy and the latter feels much lighter and relaxed when he alights the plane a while later.
Flying gave me many such opportunities and endless wonderful conversations .Some with normal people like you and me,some with famous celebrities (and it surprised me to know how they faced problems similar to ours in their daily lives),some with very old citizens who could paint their canvas called life so beautifully and also some guests who were ill and but had not given up on life .
What you give back to the society as a flight attendant is this tender touch of emotion and a heartfelt concern towards the people you fly with.It is magical how they respond when they see that motherly care in your eyes and submit themselves to you like a child wanting more from his mother.
I had a guest tell me once that he never spoke so much at length or so openly to anyone in his life before and that in those few minutes his perspective of life had changed.He said to me “you have a positive aura around you which I can feel when we are speaking.”I did not quiet understand what that means but I was wondering how lonely can people be..He was living alone all his life away from his busy parents and he always felt that void ,so could never make friends or could never speak his mind out to anyone.He just went on with life like it was a formality.
Conversations on flight can begin over anything.Over food,over the temperature,over the reason for travel and then when things take off from there ,you get to know how different people live their lives differently . If you are able to share their joys and sorrows and also talk about your struggles and achievements, it is a wonderful human touch that you are leaving on his or her mind which will go a long way ,thus making you feel happy and connected..After all ,stranger or friend we all belong to one race called the human race and we all go through our lives wanting support ,love and a hand to hold.
Today I am not flying anymore and I miss my passion more than words can say but I am so filled with gratitude for the millions of words exchanged , the petit conversations and the magical memories i made along with my guests..They became my extended family …And the aircraft my second home…
Truly with flying you give so much to this society.You share smiles,warmth and help people find comfort speaking to a complete stranger and it is astonishing how someone could open up to you, which he or she wouldn’t if you met him or her on the streets or in a park ,just jogging besides you.
Fly like the bird no worries,no why
Fly ,spread your wings ,don’t be shy
Fly,through the clouds ,through the endless sky
Fly….Just fly…….Just fly….Just fly!