I fly often and most of time I stay huddled in my corner either working or reading. And I work really hard to not have to use the restroom on a flight. Well, during my layover on my most recent flight, I got coffee, and of course, that meant I had to go before we landed.
I headed to the back of the plane and when I came out of the restroom, one flight attendant, Joey, noticed my AFSP Be The Voice T-shirt. He first thought it was a team shirt, but when he saw what it really was, we talked about people we knew, how it impacted us, and how we can help people see hope.
Both he and his fellow flight attendant, Chelsea, were kind, caring and just plain fun. Every person they offered anything to felt their warmth and kindness. They even took time to have individual conversations with numerous passengers. It made me think, "How many people walked on to this flight today after having a bad experience, being afraid to fly, having an argument with someone, or just not feeling like themselves and maybe even hopeless? And how many were put at ease and able to feel someone cared about them even if just for a moment because of these seemingly small gestures?" I know the woman sitting in seat 14D felt a little more joy and a little more hope after a brief conversation with them. Yes, I was sitting in 14D.
I made it a point to be the last person off the plane. That’s not normally me, but I really wanted to let them know just how much what they do means to the people on the flight. When I told them that their kindness and care had given hope to someone who really needed it, Joey said, “All I do is smile and serve ginger ale.” Then we agreed that for someone who may not experience kindness often that could be the one small thing that gives a desperately needed piece of hope.
I thought about that conversation as I walked off the airplane and through the airport. For some reason I started thinking about how the big thing on Instagram and other social media is being an influencer. There’s anything from fashion influencers to political influencers to social influencers. Influencers help change culture. Whether Joey and Chelsea saw what they did every day on each plane for every passenger as giving hope or not, what they are really being are Hope Influencers. They are helping passengers on that plane experience an atmosphere and culture of care.
What if we were to start looking around us for the Hope Influencers? Those individuals who do something, big or small, to bring hope into someone else’s world. What if we started to be those Hope Influencers!? We could change so many people’s worlds.
So, I’m starting a new feature on Survivor’s Instinct. Each Tuesday, I will feature another Hope Influencer. Today, it’s Joey and Chelsea! Two amazing individuals who influence Hope by smiling and serving ginger ale.
Soon, I’m going to start asking you who your Hope Influencers are.
Click back over next Tuesday to see who’s featured next!