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Taking Kindness To A New Height

, , , | Friendly | April 26, 2021

I am sitting on a window seat getting ready to fly overseas for the first time in years. The middle seat is empty and I think both my seatmate and I are relieved about it… until a big guy who’s over 6’6” and looks like the Rock’s twin brother comes up and puts his bag in the carry-on luggage compartment, and I realize he is going to be sitting in the middle seat.

He doesn’t look very happy about it but doesn’t say anything and just slides in slowly. This is going to be upwards of an eighteen-hour flight, and while I hate middle seats, I know it will be easier for me to manage than this guy, so I tap his shoulder and offer to swap him seats. At first, he doesn’t want to take it, but I insist and he does. We get swapped in and then take-off starts.

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like to talk to people while I’m traveling but I notice as we are starting to taxi down the runway that this guy has a death grip on the armrest. I start talking to him about random stuff. I really couldn’t tell you what I was talking about, but I know when I’m in a panic attack it’s easier for me to get out of it when I’m not focused on it, so I just keep nattering on.

After our flight and our long conversation, he stops me before we get up to get off the plane.

Man: “I hate the panic attacks, but this was the first time flying that I didn’t have much of a problem.”

I was just happy that I could help even a small bit.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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