This week I was on a plane, already buckled in, on my way home to be a calgary inspirational speaker.
An announcement went off, there has been an accident and we may need to deplane. A wave of disappointment and sighs hit the plane.
A member of the flight crew shouts into the loud speaker explaining that the man who pulls the drawbridge away from the aircraft fell, plunging onto the Tarmac.
Passengers on the east side of the aircraft immediately jump up to steal a glimpse of the poor man through the windows on the other side of the aircraft.
For a moment, I imagine him falling 15 feet onto the tarmac and with a flash of insight I realize, our flight will be delayed! I have only 50 minutes to get to my connecting flight!
As I am distraught over my travel plans, I realize what a heartless, selfish person I can be. This man may never walk again and I am worried about making it on time to give an inspirational speech (an inspirational speaker indeed)!
I eventually unfasten my seatbelt and wander to the other side of the aircraft to see what the fuss is about, but the man has already been removed from the pavement.
Surely his union will take care of him. Now what about our flight?
I am not heartless but I have an agenda, and so does everyone else. Perhaps we should all stop for a moment of prayer for the man? Yet this would only relieve our own guilt (unless god is listening).
It costs airlines hundreds of thousands of dollars when flights are delayed or cancelled. Surely this isn't the first time someone has plunged to the pavement? Is there no protocol?
If it was one of my family members I know I would be a lot closer to the situation and much more compassionate to the circumstances.
That plane did not fly that day. Instead we were all re-booked to leave from another plane, at another gate. Luckily I was still on time to give my inspirational speech in calgary.