There comes a certain point in life when your life is less about ‘you’ and more about others.
Welcome, Alisa. Please stow your carry-on baggage under the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt, and make sure your seat is in the upright position. If you are seated next to an emergency exit, please read carefully the special instructions card located by your seat. If you do not wish to perform the functions described in the event of an emergency, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you. (Looks around) “Um, flight attendant?”
Kind of amazing to me, now, that my baggage can fit into an overhead bin or under the seat in front of me; reduced to carry-on size. I suppose that leaves more room for another’s baggage.
My sixteen-year old brother is visiting for the summer. When I told a co-worker this last week his reply was, “Wow, you’re gutsy. Did someone give you that experience when you were his age?” It occurred to me…yes, someone did but I was eighteen and though lost I at least had a compass. I’ve got one summer to help my brother locate a navigation system or else he’ll likely never find his way.
Step 1: I pull out my baggage, stowed under the seat in front of me, and rummage through the contents that are left inside – the neatly folded and organized life that took a lot of work to keep the things I like and accept that which I could not change – to show him my own compass. Maybe he won’t be impressed, but at least he’ll see that the overwhelmed is truly the most underwhelmed – unorganized and rattled beings that can’t see the path for the trees.
Step 2: I’ll let him hold it – try it on for size – and see if that glimpse of security prompts him to find one of his own, or if he’s too far down the unbridled road. I suspect, like most people his age, he’s got a taste of the adrenaline from entering a one way the wrong way to test his foolish theories. The stakes are high and to control that is power in an otherwise powerless world; gotta take control of something so might as well own your own demise.
Step 3: The millennials just don’t understand the value of a compass, do they? C’mon gen-x’ers take a break from your innovating in the modern world and buy ’em a GPS (afterall, you likely invented it). At every wrong turn you’ll know that it will ‘calculate back on track’ and they’ll truly never be lost in unfamiliar territory. But, remember the one important thing…even in the deepest of places a GPS falls off-the-grid, so I hope you’ve at least passed the importance of your compass onto them for safe keeping in these times of need.