Recognizing And Celebrating A Good Deed

We hear so much about people behaving like jackasses.  How about a little story that shows that human beings — even important, powerful, wealthy ones — can still show decency, and kindness?

The setting was Washington, D.C.  A harried Mom was having a nightmarish travel day and thought that she had missed the last flight to Atlanta, where she was to pick up her daughter from summer camp.  She was the next name on the standby list and the jetway doors were ready to close when she miraculously got a seat.  The Good Samaritan was Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta.  He gave up his cabin seat and sat in a jump seat in the cockpit so the Mom could make it home.  The grateful Mom, Jessie Frank, wrote about the story on her Facebook page; Delta confirmed it but hasn’t tried to capitalize on the good publicity.

Sure, I know — the cynics may wonder why the Delta flight was overbooked in the first place, and will point out that the CEO, unlike other passengers, had the means to use a cockpit seat that otherwise would be unavailable.  So what?  The fact is the man could have played the accustomed CEO/hyper-important person/Master of the Universe role, ignored the woman’s predicament, and kept his seat.  The world would have been none the wiser.  The fact that he did what he did says something good about him as a person, and the fact that Delta hasn’t tried to publicize the story says something good about Delta as a company.

If we want to encourage decent behavior we should recognize it.  So here’s to Mr. Richard Anderson and the folks at Delta who helped out a Mom in need.  A small gesture, perhaps, but one that brought a smile to my face.

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