Perceiving people merely in their roles makes it easy for us to take them for granted in that moment.
You’re my mother, of course you cook for me.
You’re my child, of course you obey my orders.
You’re my employer, of course you pay me.
You’re my employee, of course you work hard for me.
You’re a doctor, of course you cure my ill.
You’re my patient, of course you do what I tell you.
The more we strip away the roles and see eye-to-eye, as human beings, the easier it is to appreciate each other.
The less appreciated we feel, the more resentment we let build in our relationship.
The more resentment we let build in our relationship, the more difficult it is to perceive beyond the roles.
Thus forms a vicious cycle.
Some of our tensions
come from sitting around
a computer screen.
Do a few burpees.
and write on the whiteboard.
If you’re breathing shallow,
breathe from your belly.
look up at the ceiling for a few seconds
Submerge your face
in ice-cold water for a few seconds,
a few times.
For a period of time,
holding a frozen water bottle in your hand.
Receive emotional support.
Get the help of a professional.
Whatever you do,
may we remember
there exists the option
to choose to take the first step
to relieving our tension.
Whether we do it ourselves
or ask for the help of others,
may we make the choice.
I’m writing to express my gratitude to Ravit at the United check-in counter inside Tel Aviv, Israel‘s Ben Gurion Airport.
I hope Ravit gets the recognition she deserves. I can’t remember the last time I met a check-in agent so vivacious and, dare I say, fun to interact with.
While my trip to Israel had been inspiring, I was tired nonetheless. I could not wait to get back home. Until I encountered Ravit, my energy was low. I was also grumpy that I could not check in at the kiosk just because I wanted to check a bag. From the first interaction, Ravit joked with me in a tone so playful and warm that I could not help, but laugh along. Her presence was like an oasis to an otherwise dried-up state of mind. So much so that I was grateful that I did not check in at the kiosk. I felt restored and refreshed after our interaction. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that.
Facing people as an agent at the check-in counter while being true to a personality so vivacious and playful is not an easy thing to do. Especially when everyone else in the airport seems so serious and stern (This is not a criticism. I know it is well warranted given how serious the security situation is in Israel). Not only that, but given the kinds of struggles many people experience at the airport, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has experienced people who respond to her energy in negative ways. All this means it would have been much safer for Ravit to express no emotions and instead focus on getting her task done. But no, Ravit was willing to be vulnerable enough to be herself and treat me as a human being, not merely a task to be completed.
Thank you Ravit for your willingness to bring brightness and positivity to a world that is often biased toward darkness and negativity. I consider your actions a good example of the kind of micro-innovation I hope to see more in the world. May you continue to bring joy to the lives of people with whom you come in contact.
We say we have
Be it our care,
or money, …
we tightly hold on
to the memory
of having given.
If we’re not merely
but holding on
to the memory
of having given,
then perhaps we have lent,