I enjoy a cup of coffee as much as most, but when did the question “where is the Starbucks” become a demand? A police officer, who works at one of the busiest airports in the country, said one of the most common questions people ask is, “where is the Starbucks?” Not where can I get a cup of coffee, no, where is the Starbucks?” He said when he responds there isn’t one nearby, people respond with impatience, frustration and huff away. While this is good news for the Starbucks brand, what does this say about our culture?
Most of us are already stressed out at the airport and don’t need another cup of coffee. But what is even more telling about this situation is what it says about how we interact with others. Consider this. People walk up to a police officer who is there for our safety and protection and feel that it is ok to demand information. At the very minimum, you would think people would treat this officer with respect and proceed their question with the basic courtesy of asking “may I ask you a question” and a respectful “thank you” instead of indignation.
The airport is full of examples of people there to make our travel as safe and comfortable as possible. Instead of treating them with respect and kindness, we demand, ignore, and are sometimes even hostile to them. Instead of seeing them as real people doing their best, we see them as objects with no feelings, put there as obstacles in our path.
Have you ever considered these people work hard each day answering the same questions over and over again, enduring people ranting at them about problems they had no part in creating? If you step back and take a look at all the unfortunate situations involving air travel that have occurred lately, maybe it's time to realize both passengers and employees involved in air travel are all under a lot of stress, and we need to make changes.
Perhaps it's time for us to take responsibility for our actions and move from living in the world inside our heads obsessed with our selfish demands to living outside our heads as conscious, compassionate beings.
Next time you head to the airport, why not decide to make a difference in this stressful world by “packing” a different attitude. Patience, kindness, and gratitude don't take up room in your bag. And as far as I know, there isn’t a 3oz limit on the amount of kindness you can bring through security.
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