I’ve got a corner of my own at Denver International Airport. It’s down by baggage claim, close to the door for the shuttle which takes me home to Colorado Springs. I tuck in near a window, sitting on the cheap industrial carpet and watch the world go bye. It’s a primo people watching spot. I see families as they pick up bags, parents hauling kids off the carousel. I listen to the announcements of arriving flights and on days like today, delays. Each announcement raises hopes or crushes dreams. I watch people wheel bags pass, and listen to snippets of family reunions.
I see stress on the faces which pass. Fatigue and anger. Frustration at circumstances beyond their control. Rarely do I see a genuine smile, or hear a kind word. It’s the way of the world, move in your own bubble, ignore others, figure that they will work things out. Life is a trial to be endured.
Sit in my corner long enough, and you will see something else. You will see eyes light up in recognition as “Grandpa” rings through the area, followed by the thump thump of boots as a child flings herself into waiting arms. You’ll watch someone offer a luggage cart to someone, or offer to wrestle a bag from the carousel. You will hear a lone voice belt out a cheery “Merry Christmas” to a startled airport employee. You will her the shocked and grateful “thank you”.
You find small acts of kindness and generosity. You may remember the words of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol.
Mankind should have been my business.
There’s a choice you make every day. Are you part of the world? Do you offer what you can, even if it’s only a kind word? Do you try making things better through words and deeds? Is mankind your business? Or do you choose to move through the world in a bubble?
When you pass my corner of the airport, what will I see?