Ah, the airport. It’s interesting to me that this place causes so much uneasiness in people. Is it strange that I find it peaceful? I find myself in a movie whenever I am at the aeroport. You know, one of those time lapse scenes, where the film’s main character is standing, or walking slowly. And everything else, usually cars or other people zooms by, indistinguishable. That main character, that focal point, is me. Except my focus is not on me. It’s on everyone else. All the hurried people…where do they all belong? It seems to me that it is an unspeakable faux pas to walk at a normal speed in the terminal. People look like the need their iPod armbands so they can keep up their pace, as they fly down the way, constantly searching for their gate. I find it all fascinating. So much so, that I do the opposite of the rest. I consciously try to walk slowly, or to not look at my boarding pass, or to not shuffle around while I’m in line. In fact, I try to be close to the last person in my boarding section. Because really, why do we rush to the door the moment we hear the words “United would like to welcome seating area 3 to board”? It’s incredible, I think that office workers would be so much more efficient if their bosses were airline ticket agents. They are an unquestionable authority; the last real gatekeepers in our age of tin-can carriages.
Isn’t it interesting though, that peace could come from a place of such hurriedness…such inconsiderateness? Other than respecting the ticket agent at the gate, I’m fairly certain that I’ve never seen one place bring out so much angst in people. It is as though that boarding pass entitles a person forget those around him are actual people. Or that the TSA worker is wanding people as fast as she can. Or that the flight attendant is not your personal slave; he does get paid, and its to save your life, not make it posh.
To me, an airport is like a car crash on the side of a highway. It captivating, and sorrowful. No matter what highway, no matter where it is, traffic slows to see just what happened. I just can’t take my eyes off of people in airports. No matter what state, or country; entitlement, inflated self-importance, and rudeness are the order of the day.
But somehow, I get peace here. That’s where my simile falls apart. I don’t get peace from car crashes. I’m not Tyler Durden. Although I have had many single-serving friends….
So airports, even though I am constantly reminded that we live in a fallen and broken world, are beacons of peace. Isn’t God strange? Peace in brokenness. Being reminded of goodness by witnessing selfishness. It’s one of those small wonders that I am glad I get to witness often.
Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it all…
Speaking of reading. I make a point to pick up Wired magazine in airports. It’s just the right size read for a trip. In the latest issue, there is an article called “The New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans – A Scientific Approach to 21st-Century Predicaments” and it’s genius…
1. 1. It’s ok to kick out your Rock Band bassist if he sucks.
2. If your call drops, call back; no matter what.
3. Don’t Google-stalk before a first date. It can ruin chemistry.
4. Texting is OK while in the company of others; if you are trying to include your textee, not if you are trying to exclude your actual company.
5. If you can’t buy if online, feel free to Bittorent.
6. Never broadcast your relationship status.
7. Don’t lie with your Facebook photo.
8. Balance your media diet: 1 hour of gaming, ¾ hour microblogging, 1.25 hours social networking, 2.5 hours of news, and 3.5 of entertainment.
9. Online conversations are not all about you, so don’t dominate them all.
10. Friend your boss, but not your boss’s boss. Follow them both on Twitter.
11. Ignore your ex on Facebook.
12. Do not talk on the phone while using a urinal, but you can text.
13. Take your Bluetooth out of your ear when you’re not using it.
14. Choose the right ringtone.
15. Don’t Tweet or Blog anything that has more than half a million hits.
16. Delete unwanted posts from your Facebook wall.
17. Meet online friends in the real world. Bu beware, they will be weird.
18. Leave your Wi-Fi open
19. Seek out your coworkers on Facebook.
20. Exaggerate your salary on your online dating profile.
21. Be mindful of your personal electronic space.
22. There is no such thing as too many friends.
23. Don’t hesitate to haggle on Craigslist.
24. You can reinvent yourself online.
25. Never answer your phone in a movie theater.
26. Don’t work all the time. You will live to regret it.
27. Never unfollow someone just because they unfollowed you.