It doesn’t cost much to be a decent human being. Maybe an hour of your time here, or $5 there, but at the end of it all, being kind to others doesn’t cost a thing, but never fails to be rewarding.
Unfortunately in our humanness, we often pass up the opportunity to help someone and focus our attention instead on the inconvenience that they causing.
There’s no greater example of this than encounters with strangers on an airplane—something that Kesha Bernard got to experience herself this week.
The mother of two was on vacation away from her kids, yet still wound up flying with a toddler on her lap.
She says it’s because raising kids takes a village, and having a three- and four-year-old of her own, Kesha was happy to lend a hand.
As the photographer detailed in her viral Facebook post, however, not everyone on the plane was so understanding.
In what sounds like a sick social experiment—trap 100+ people in an enclosed metal structure thousands of feet above ground for a few hours and see who survives—Kesha details how her Alaskan Airlines flight got delayed at the gate for weight checks.
That’s when the worst thing imaginable happened: a baby started crying.
Nothing screams survival of the frequent flyers like an unhappy kid.
Unfortunately it’s the way people responded to the mother of the crying baby that had Kesha, and the rest of the Internet, fuming.
Everyone around me starts huffing and puffing and mumbling. Then, I hear 2 kids crying,” she writes. One woman’s toddler started having a “full-blown meltdown”—something Kesha can totally ignore with her “mom powers.”
What she couldn’t ignore was the response of passengers around this mom.
“I hear a woman complaining to this mother ([who’s] alone with 2 crying kids) that her child needs to stop kicking her seat. THEN I hear the mother say, ‘She’s 3, I can’t believe you just did that!’”
Apparently the woman had turned around in her seat and grabbed the screaming toddler’s leg as mom was trying to settle the child down.
As if that debacle wasn’t enough, the man sitting next to Kesha chimed in with his own judgmental remarks about how some parents just don’t know how to discipline their kids. Meanwhile, the flight attendants remained silent, and other passengers physically started covering their ears with their hands, like children.
Kesha says she was amazed by the mother’s calmness in her approach, as she would have been swallowed up by her own tears and meltdown by this point had it been her in that situation.
“Being a decent human being I couldn’t take letting this mother drown back there.”
She stood up, walked a few rows back to where the commotion was taking place and asked the mom how she could help. Immediately, the mother handed over her baby, and Kesha made her way back to her own seat for takeoff.
Just like that, the crying stopped. The baby fell asleep in Kesha’s arms, mom got a break from the screaming that ensued over a seatbelt, and the rest of the plane could put away their salty remarks and side eyes.
Kesha writes that she was appalled at the fact that people could just ignore someone in distress, but closes her post urging people everywhere to “be nice and considerate.”
“Complaining and mumbling” doesn’t do anything for anyone. It just makes the helpless feel even worse than they already do.
Our words hold power, and we each have the ability to offer ourselves to others in need. It’s just a matter of putting our own selfish ambition aside, and making the decision to do it.
As for Kesha, holding a sweet, sleeping baby was a treasure in itself.