There’s something about these two airline stories I am going to tell you that fuels me to take charge of my circumstances. I am pretty much sure it has nothing to do with me being scared of planes. That’s a different story altogether. Anyway, I wanted you to read these two stories and maybe take whatever lesson we can from it.
The first story is about Richard Branson, forty-something years ago. He was in an airport in the Caribbean when a dreaded announcement came off. The one and only flight back to his home in the Virgin Islands have been cancelled. There is always something about flights being cancelled that ticks most of the people I know. Maybe including me, I don’t know, I’m indifferent with airplanes, I guess. But this guy, instead of freaking out about how important this flight was to him and how crappy the airline was, walked across the airport and inquired about chartering a flight. Soon after he was already holding a portable blackboard that says “Seats to Virgin Islands, 39$.” After a while, Mr. Branson went back to his gate and sold enough seats to his fellow passengers to completely cover the charter plane costs. He made it home on time and unconsciously, he had already planted the seeds to his future business career, Virgin Air.
Another airline story is about a guy named Seth. He was supposed to go on a flight back home when the “system” breaks while everyone is already seated inside the aircraft. Now he is at the onset of a possible ninety minutes to five hours delay. He instinctively went online and looked for a car rental service, planning to transfer to another nearby airport in an attempt to work around his situation. Seth quickly found a car, asked the attendant if he could leave the plane and offered 4 free seats to other passengers for them to take a chance at the next airport. Unfortunately no one was for the idea.
“Some of these people may have figured I was some sort of extremely well-dressed business-traveller psychopath. My guess, though, is that most of them were very content to blame United (the airline company) for their situation. If they stood up and left the plane, the situation would have belonged to them. Their choice, their responsibility” wrote Seth Godin in his best selling book Linchpin.
I think that we were all given specific talents that we are responsible of, and situations where we could exhibit this responsibility (i.e. The Parable of The Talents? see Matthew 25:14-28).
Sometimes, like the two stories above, it’s in a form of a simple crisis which we can easily overlook or worse, complain! When your situation “breaks down” do you take charge or do you simply want to seat back and blame people around you? Your choice. Your responsibility.
airplane, blame, Matthew 25:14-28, parable of the talents, responsibility, Richard Branson, seth godin, Virgin Air