A stranger at the airport – and a small, stunning act of kindness
What's the nicest thing an absolute stranger has done for you or to you?" The older I get, the more I realize how necessary and appreciated the “kindness of strangers” is. This was made abundantly clear to me on my recent trip to Taupo I had booked the flights in somewhat of a hurry with just a carry on bag (Thinking 7kgs is enough for a 3 days trip) I thought I'd given myself enough time to get to the airport, however, as often is the case, I was running late and had to pack my bag with little time left. Confused about what to carry, I dumped all the clothes in my little carry on bag without paying any heed to the weight Thirty minutes into the flight,I was waiting at my terminal in the airport and couldn't stop smiling. I think I was too excited to go on a much-needed trip. A little while later I heard an announcement “those flying on xxx airlines are requested to weigh their cabin luggage and collect their tag”. Well, me being a frequent traveller, was sitting there wondering when did airlines start weighing cabin luggage. I stood in the line waiting for my turn clueless about how much my bag would weigh(deep inside I was hoping not over the weight limit). When it was my turn, I placed my bag on the weighing scale and whoaaaa!! It was 9.4kgs. I asked the flight attendant if I could buy $20 extra baggage allowance as shown on the app but I was too late for it. Instead, I was asked to pay an additional fee of $65. I either had to pay or leave my stuff away to bring it down to 7kg. I asked the attendant if I returned 3 days later, would they give my stuff back to me and surprisingly I was told I won’t get it back. To me, A bad luggage experience has the power to completely sour a trip. With no other alternative, I decided to give up a few of my stuff Flustered, annoyed, disappointed! As I started removing the items, I saw a lady approaching me. It looked like she heard the whole thing. She sat down next to me. "Are you OK?" She said, to which I hurriedly replied, "Yes, thank you, I’m fine." “ I should be able to help you”- I looked up, startled, and this time she pointed at her little baggage and said “Look, my bag weighs less than 3 kgs. How about you place your stuff in my bag and nobody will know. Once we land, you can take the stuff back” . Apparently, she was flying on the same flight as me. For a while I was hesitating as to why would I give this away to a stranger. Well technically I was anyways losing all my stuff even if I were to leave them at the airport- so let me try this alternative! . She sat next to me and helped me stuff everything into her bag, one by one and exchanged numbers- I was blown away! To add on, I did get my stuff back once we landed - Yay!! Not only did she turn my mood around, but she reminded me that kind and good people do exist, It was the most unexpected, and it’s one of the most significant things that has ever happened to me. Isn’t that crazy, that a lady taking a couple of minutes to repack her bag to fit in my stuff so that I don’t have to give it away? I really think that demonstrating kindness to strangers is a learned thing – it’s not intuitive. You sort of have to put yourself out there, which is sometimes embarrassing (especially if you’re shut down), or a bit confronting. When you take a look at what's been going on in the world, it's easy to feel down. Even in times of disaster, it's nice to find tears running down your face for a different reason: a profound appreciation for the kind things people do for each other.