Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life as it Could Be

by Andrea Laser

We just got back from a family vacation in which we traveled to California by plane.  Flying provides for me all sorts of interesting interactions and people watching (one of my favorite pastimes). Throughout the airline experience people are forced in very close quarters with total strangers. Parts of it reminded me of the video that was shown on Christmas eve at BUMC (if you missed it, check it out here).  

What was so interesting to me about the video was the idea of total strangers having to act like they loved another total stranger-- a situation that seems quite forced at first, but many participants reported by the end that they actually felt that they genuinely cared about the person with whom they were paired.

The scenario in the video is seemingly an experiment that would not otherwise occur; however, this week while traveling I noticed it occurring all over the place. Within my immediate family, my husband struck up a conversation with a couple behind us in line at the skycap.  By the end of the conversation, the couple was wishing us a safe trip and a Happy New Year.

On another occasion, a man weighed his bag, and it was five pounds over the 50 pound weight limit.  Several people starting giving him advice on what to take out to make sure that he didn’t have to pay the overage fee. When he finally got his bag under 50 pounds the whole crowd erupted in cheer.

On the plane, I overheard (okay, eavesdropped on) two men who randomly sat next to each other- first just creating small talk, but by the end of the conversation one of the men was explaining his life dreams to the other who was encouraging him to pursue them.

Still yet I witnessed a man manipulate the open seating policy with Southwest Airlines to ensure he sat next to young, single ladies, and sure enough, by the end of the flight it looked like his player approach had landed him some new connections and newly found friends.

While the close proximity to strangers is involuntary in airline travel, no one said to any of these people, “You must talk to and act like you care about this person.” These scenarios just played out spontaneously and very genuinely: people that had started out as total strangers were now wishing well to each other and sincerely caring about one another.

At the end of the video, the narrator and writer, Steve Hartman says about the photographer, “He shows us humanity as it could be, as most of us we wish it would be.”  

Or maybe, life and humanity as it is, if we take the time to look for it.

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV)

Andrea Laser is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton, 5, and Wyatt, 18 months.  She and her husband Steve have been members at BUMC since 2009. They are active members of the First Friday group, and Andrea leads the Blog Team at BUMC.  To contact Andrea, or if you are interested in writing for the BUMC Blog, please email her at

No comments:

Post a Comment