“People can be unkind and impatient, especially with small, overtired children,” writes one mother in a Facebook post on the page, Love What Really Matters. In today’s fast-paced, impatient, and chaotic world, this is so very true, and so very disheartening for people with children – especially those that either have to or WANT to take their children on an airplane.
Sadly, when parents board a commercial airplane with small children, most other passengers seem to avoid sitting next to them as if they had the plague. The one passenger that does get “stuck” sitting beside them will act with grudging kindness (if not flat out rudeness) the entire flight. One mother was worried that that was just the reaction she was going to get from her seatmate: a tall, burly man in his mid-20s. But the opposite turned out to be true.
When an anxious mother boarded Westjet Flight #1221 from Fort Lauderdale at 9:30 pm with her toddler son, her fears of irritating fellow passenger were quickly doused by the kind man’s patient and caring attitude to a toddler he didn’t even know.
This flight was this little boy’s second in his entire life, and being such a late one, his mother was nervous that he would be overtired and emotional. “Although my son is generally well behaved and quiet, I was anxious and concerned about how these first departure and arrival flights would go for him,” she writes to this stranger in her open letter on Facebook.
She then goes on to thank him for offering her son gum and candy at takeoff; for picking up his blanket every time he dropped it in his half-asleep state; for letting him rest his tired legs in his lap; for entertaining him; and for being a prime example of how people SHOULD act toward children.
“Thank you for making our flight experience a lesson in compassion and empathy for others. That little boy will grow into a man one day (hopefully like you) and he will get a lot more out of your simple actions than you realize,” An Anxious Mother writes.
Once the letter went viral, the kind stranger–identified as Ali Hyseni–finally received it, to which he replied, “It was such a pleasure to meet such a loving family. Although he doesn’t show in this picture, the young boy’s grandfather should be the one receiving all this recognition. His patience and kindness towards his grandson were heartwarming … We should all strive to be like this man.”
This man’s actions goes to show that a little bit of kindness, patience, and understanding can go a long way towards brightening someone’s day, and towards making a greater impact on the world.
Here is the full letter – Enjoy!
“We flew Westjet Flight #1221 from Fort Lauderdale at 9:30pm (arriving in Toronto past midnight yesterday) with a toddler whose only flight experience was the week prior.
The moment I saw you (a big, macho looking guy in probably your late twenties), I was worried that you wouldn’t take kindly to and would be offput by sitting beside a small child. I was completely wrong, and for that I am so grateful.
The seatbelt sign remained on for quite a good portion of our flight for turbulence, which meant instead of sitting and being comforted on mine or grandpa’s lap, he had to be belted in beside you instead.
I didn’t get your name, but thank you so much for grabbing his blanket the numerous times he dropped it, half asleep. Thank you for making sure to point your cabin light away from him when he finally did fall asleep. Thank you for being kind and engaging him even though you weren’t obligated to do so. Thank you for offering him (and us) candy and gum for his ears. Thank you for letting him rest his little tired legs and feet on you. And thank you for offering to get down all of our overhead luggage so he wouldn’t be disturbed.
Although my son is generally well behaved and quiet, I was anxious and concerned about how these first departure and arrival flights would go for him. People can be unkind and impatient, especially with small, overtired children.
Thank you for making our flight experience a lesson in compassion and empathy for others. That little boy will grow into a man one day (hopefully like you) and he will get a lot more out of your simple actions than you realize. You will make a wonderful father some day if you so choose.”
An Anxious Mother
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Source: Love What Really Matters