When I first watched The Secret, it rang so true that it felt like I already knew it, but I hadn’t put it all together. I have continuously experienced great things just by being grateful for everything, by envisioning what I want, and by being a careful observer.
Most recently, while taking a night flight from Boston to Phoenix, I was one of the first to board because I had paid extra for a better seat up front. On the same flight a year ago, I had been lucky enough to be the only one in my row, so I was able to stretch out and sleep during the trip. All day long I visualized the seats next to me being empty so I could enjoy the same luxury. While placing my luggage overhead, I heard an older woman behind me asking the flight attendant if she could sit in one of the front rows. It was explained to her that those seats cost more, and she quickly snapped back that she was a little claustrophobic and needed to be up front. I continued getting settled as they kindly explained that they could move her but she’d have to pay more, to which she replied harshly that she couldn’t afford it.
As the rest of the passengers boarded, my delight grew as people passed but no one sat in my row. I repeated to myself how amazing visualizations can be. Finally, the attendant announced that they were ready for takeoff and requested that we all finish using our electronics before they shut the cabin door. I was happy knowing that my wish had been granted, but my mind kept flashing back to the older woman. I thought of how uncomfortable it must be for her to sit in the back feeling trapped. I couldn’t possibly enjoy all this extra room knowing that she was suffering. I got up and approached the attendant who had spoken to her. I explained that I wanted to pay for the lady who was claustrophobic to be moved to a seat in my row, but that they would have to promise not to tell her I had paid for it. The attendant smiled at me and said she’d take care of it.
After several minutes, the older woman was ushered to my row and seated. We spoke only briefly, but she seemed very happy, and that filled my heart with more joy than sleep ever could. The evening seemed to fly by.
Toward the end of the flight, the attendants were going around charging each person’s credit card for their food and drink. I waited for someone to stop at my row, but they seemed to have missed me. At last the attendant I had spoken to stopped at my aisle seat and leaned down near me as I held out my credit card to her. She didn’t take the card. Speaking in a very soft tone, she said that she wanted to thank me on behalf of the entire crew. What I had done was the nicest thing any of them had ever experienced while flying, and they were all inspired by it. She ended by saying that not only were they not going to charge me for her seat, but they wanted to pay for my food and drink themselves.
I felt so honored and so filled with love that I could barely speak. I whispered back, “Thank you!”
It was such a wonderful and loving experience, and I’m amazed that so much joy rippled out just because I OFFERED to do something kind.