I have been breaking for Spring or on Spring Break--in case you avoid me on FB and were not aware. Surprisingly, while in Idaho,--WAY UP NORTH--the temperatures were rather mild. The deep snow pack, altitude, and mountain breezes keeps the snow on the mountains and my coat on my back. I am thankful for the blessing of sweet friends who invite me along on their adventures.
Perhaps my favorite part of any adventure--well any outing--is people watching. OH MY--do we come in all sizes, shapes, and personalities. I believe I could write for a year on what I see in airports, train stations, and on public transit. While growing up under Momma's iron hand, we definitely had two standards of behavior---at home and in public. The law of the land was you did not draw attention to yourself by unseeming behavior while in public. That law seems to have been thrown out the door--in fact--much of what I saw lead me to believe many have never even heard of it.
One of my favorite viewings while in the airports is the boarding of the plane. The airline industry has tweaked this process for years and it has finally morphed into today's process of boarding by groups or zones. The line begins to queue up as soon as the airline agent appears at the gate. Even though you may be in Group 999---for some reason many begin to crowd the gate. Perhaps they think if they are rude enough, they will let them go first?
At any rate, they let those who have children two and under get on board first, along with those needing additional time or assistance to get on board. NOW---THANK YOU, Lord, I am no longer dragging a two and under on board. It's pretty amazing they want to put the screamers on first. I guess this gives them time to warm up their screeches. And of course, those needing extra time should go first---LONG before the rest of us. Who wants to show their true colors by darting around a wheel chair or someone on crutches as you walk down the loading chute?
AND THEN--there are those who have enough money to pay for first class tickets. They take their silver goblets, fur coats, and leather suitcases and leisurely stroll to their reclining seats that really do recline. When you pay triple the price--the seat SHOULD recline! Immediately after the first class comes the golden parachutes, business class, we belong to the club members. And IF--and ONLY IF--you are an active duty military member AND have on your uniform--they will let you get on with all the uppity up's.
All those of upper status are now on and seated and they begin the loading by group number or zone letter of all the ordinary passengers--the members of the real world. Although I have my doubts, they say this has nothing to do with the frequency of flying. I did notice on these flights it seemed to be based upon where you were seated. Those lucky enough to be in the aisle seats went last and those trapped by the window went first. NOW here is the thing--there is limited overhead space and since the airlines now charge for baggage the jockeying to put your bag overhead can be treacherous. Who wants to have your baggage stowed ten rows behind you?
Here is what I always laugh about when the plane is finally loaded. They do not close the door until everyone is on board! Who wants to sit on a crowded plane one more minute than you must? And yet---when we see others rushing for the door--we fall quickly into a panic and become part of the mob and follow suit. What pray tell is the rush?? To date, I have NEVER seen the plane take off with half the passengers still in the loading chute.
This all plays out again when the flight is finally concluded. The plane lands and UP pops over half the plane---EVEN though the plane empties from the front to the back. Perhaps these people are weary of sitting? One thing is for sure--you are not going to get off any quicker by standing 15 minutes before the bulkhead is opened! AND YES, sometimes we miss our connections--sometimes we have tight connections--sometimes we are in dire need of the nearest restroom--BUT unless you are a professional linebacker--I doubt you can plow over all the rows of passengers in front of you. At best you might gain a few position advantage-to only suffer the scorn and lambasting all the way up the gangplank of those you trounced.
We see this same behavior in other venues, at all types of events where you have reserved seating, in the 12 items or less line at the grocery store, even at the school where I volunteer they are rushing to line up to go inside a class they hate. For some strange reason, when lines begin to form, good manners fly out the door and the pushing and shoving for position commences. For what purpose, I am not sure--but most all of us seem to want to be at the head of the line. We miss the fact that we all will eventually reach the destination--and arriving 5 seconds in front of the next person makes not one whit of difference.
This, of course, reminds me of the parable Jesus taught concerning the last shall be first. God's chosen people were called first and much later the Gentiles were given The Message. So the Gentiles--the last to be called will be first to enter the realms of grace for they gladly accepted the prepaid ticket offered by Jesus. A beautiful story reminding us the station we hold is not nearly as important as the acceptance of the ticket. Being born into a first class family does not guarantee admittance through the bulkhead doors---you must have your boarding pass. The ticket price is free to all who ask---and the boarding pass is part of the package. And when we are lined up at The Pearly Gates--no shoving or pushing is allowed---come as you are with your pass in hand to receive a first class accommodation once you are inside the gates. It will be the most wonderful trip ever!
"So those who are last now will be first then,
and those who are first will be last."