The craziest parts of my traveling have always been in airports. Airports where I am changing planes.
It is one thing to take off from a destination and arrive at a destination. It is entirely another to land in a city, hop out of one tube and make your way to another tube, and travel on.
Sometimes it is a hurried event and sometimes it drags on for what seems like days. Changing planes is just one of those things we do, because collectively, it helps everyone reach destinations.
It helps to have a book, or headphones, or a meal, when you are alone. It helps to actually like the person you are traveling with when you are not alone.
It seems fitting that in this analogy, the places that planes take off and land are called terminals. Recently, I was terminated from a position I held for a few years. I have spent the last four weeks, changing planes.
For the record, I am proud of what I accomplished. I am also proud of the reason I was asked to resign. “Insubordination and loss of confidence” is what the separation notice said.
My heroes are Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, John Lennon, Wayne Dyer, Ram Dass, and Bob Dylan. There are a lot of heroes, but those come to mind most easily.
They were all insubordinate and very few people believed they would do what they did. I am in good company. Plus, for now, I like watching birds and drinking coffee.
Currently, I have no boarding pass.
There is a freedom that comes with not knowing what is next. I never really intended to be here, so how would I know how to get there?
Here is the goal. Step by step, smile by smile, and one small grace at a time, I am going to change the world. In fact, I already have.
When I take my final flight, off into the unknown realms of this world, it will be with gratitude for what has been, and also with joy for what is to come. That seems just fine to me.
Before Changing Planes
Before my changing planes begins this time, I am going to reflect on the trips thus far. The good things that literally landed me here.
There was the time a corporation pulled a Christmas Vacation move and paid no bonus, with no warning, to my team. With my wife’s consent, I bought 85 Walmart gift cards and gave them to managers to pass out.
But there was also a fantastic trip to Miami.
There was the time I mailed 85 handwritten post cards, thanking each team member, and was chastised because of HR concerns. Two weeks later, upper management mentioned they were encouraged to do things like what I had done. Because it was someone else’s idea, it rocked.
But there was also the camaraderie.
Once my supervisor told my team that Easter was a paid holiday. It was not. I purchased (without my wife’s consent… I learned my lesson) a gift card for the extra time.
But there was also the joy of getting to know so many people.
If I was insubordinate, it was in an effort to take up for the disenfranchised, and that is a good enough reason to take whatever consequence results.
Martin Luther King Jr said a lot of things. One of my favorite quotes is this.
“A man cannot ride your back if it is not bent.”
I have been punched by angry ball players.
Police have pepper sprayed and kicked me down steps for sitting down. Full disclosure, I was not arrested.
I have been alone in a room full of toddlers hopped up on pixie sticks and Kool-Aid.
I am singing Redemption Song by Bob Marley and wondering how long will they indeed kill our prophets… but I am doing it without bending my back.
We are not living in a sustainable way. Big corporations poison our drinking water, nuclear powers could destroy the world, greed prevents living wages being paid all around the world.
Also the Reality
People are helping each other. Nothing is so bad that a little kindness and love would not course correct. Your power and Light come from something other than those we are tempted to blame for the failures in the world.
What is pulsing through you pushes rivers. What is in you is also in lions, redwood trees, and jet propulsion. You may be changing planes also. Whatever happens, and wherever we go from here, let’s make this terminal one to remember.
Stay happy. If you cannot stay happy, stay observant. If you cannot stay observant, take a nap. This is not a fight or flight moment… this is just a “take a deep breath and settle in for a minute” moment.
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