Perspective and what happens when things get out of hand

Dave business photo edited

David R. Shearman

October 22, 2015

I don’t know about any of you all, but things seem to be getting out of hand, as of late, and I am not sure people know just how good we have it here in the good ‘ole US of A. For example, a couple of days ago a man choked out a woman on a Southwest flight from Los Angeles. Fellow passengers thought they were experiencing a terrorist attack of some sort. Evidently though, it was just an angry man who lost his cool when the woman leaned her seat back too far for his comfort. This is not the first incident of “recline rage” as many airlines are seeing this type of violent behavior occurring during their flights.

Not making any excuse for the bad behavior – I don’t suppose the airlines feel they have any culpability in the matter, i.e. the quest for more revenue dollars per seat at the expense of the traveler – but have any of these people ever flown on Pakistan Airways?

Well, I have and if there ever is the case to take some type of similar action I would say catching a flight on this airline would be at the top of my list. I remember flying from Islamabad to Karachi a few years ago and my “airline rage” meter was pegged. The plane was full of non-compliant passengers of all shapes and sizes just doing whatever they wanted to do. However, I wasn’t so mad at the person sitting in front of me as I was at the farm animals that just wouldn’t listen to the flight attendant instructions. The chickens and furry animals weren’t reclining too far for my comfort they just left their flying etiquette at the farm house.

Another time, I was flying home from Iraq and I had two seats open in my isle which made my 22 hour journey a little nicer for me. But a woman who was sitting in front of me didn’t think that I should be allowed to enjoy that little luxury and when I went up to use the facilities she decided to make a move. The cabin lights were off and it was dark as I returned to my seat. I walked right past my seat partly because I didn’t recognize it.  This was due to the fact that the lady passenger had moved to my seat and the adjacent seats and was sprawled out sleeping. Upon further inspection I noticed that she had even moved my book and reading glasses to another seat.

I was enraged and flabbergasted but I didn’t choke her out. I simply asked her what in the devil she thought she was doing. Her explanation was, in broken English, that she was tired and needed to sleep. What’s a courteous American guy to do?

If you ever want to get a different perspective on the experience of commercial flying and maybe put your “recline rage” in check, book a flight on an airline based out of a second or third world country. It will help you appreciate what you have in America.

How about the man in Texas who, in my judgement, intentionally swerved at the motorcyclist who was attempting to illegally pass him? This guy’s “road rage” led to almost seriously injuring the motorcyclist and his female passenger, all because it appears he was going to take matters into his own hands over a crossing the double yellow line violation?

This guy would not last one hour driving in Pakistan, India, Iraq or other similar place. Again, while in Karachi, I actually became physically ill one time while attempting to drive in that crazy, no rules, drive as you please town. All the constant starting and stopping, swerving and maneuvering got the best of me. There were hundreds of motorcycles going in every direction and speed; cars and trucks driving within mere inches of one other and overtimes hitting one another. Pedestrians were walking all over the place narrowly missing being struck by any type of motor vehicle. There weren’t any traffic lights to speak of and nobody adhered to any sense of common courtesy or traffic laws.

If there is ever the argument for road rage then I would say it would exist in a place like Karachi and not in Texas. Swerving at a fellow driver who was illegally passing and “teaching him a lesson” is not rationale behavior and I am certain he will be held liable for it.

Perspective is an interesting thing and many times I think that we take for granted just how great a land we live in. We would all benefit by us taking a moment to reflect on the many blessing we have in our own individual lives as a result of living in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Viper One Six – Out

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