“You’re Mr. Miles, aren’t you?”
Uh oh. You know you’ve been on too many planes of late when the flight attendant recognizes you.
Opal thanked me for smiling.
Which seemed kinda weird at first. Isn’t that kinda like thanking someone for not robbing a liquor store?
For me (and this is something I got from my dad), my automatic pilot instinct is to smile when someone else is talking.
Wal-mart greeters? I smile at them.
Doctor’s office receptionists? I smile at them.
Flight attendants doing safety announcements? I smile at them.
Now, I knew something unusual had happened on the arriving flight on my plane. Three police officers gathered at the gate.
The officers and a couple other people from the airline went down the jet bridge and returned with a woman and her son.
Opal had been assaulted by the woman. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time of the smiling incident. I just smile to, well, smile.
After her safety announcement, Opal said:
“Thank you for smiling, Mr. Miles.”
And she explained briefly what had happened on the flight before. I had watched the gate attendant give her a big hug before the attendant pulled back the jet bridge. I didn’t connect dots. Men don’t. As a rule, we’re pretty dim bulbs.
Evidently, my smile settled her. My smile reminded her she didn’t have any real problems. My smile reminded her life went on and most passengers were just good, kind people trying to get through the day like she was.
I unwittingly gave Opal a gift no money could buy.
After her thanks, Opal reminded me of something, too.
Every day is a gift.
As Patton Oswalt once said, you get to choose how things affect you.
I choose to be kind and smile my dim-bulb smile.
How about you?
Photo Credit: Loyal O.A.K.