Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicagoland, Karma, Lightning, and Good

I flew to Chicagoland for the weekend last Friday. I had a great time: visited great friends, ate great food, drank great drinks, and did some pretty cool things: cheese castles, White Castles, Italian delis, Wisconsin, island-themed bar, Food Network-caliber pizza, Chicago dogs and the like. I’m already looking forward to my next trip (unplanned at current, but it might be in 3 or 4 months). I flew back on Sunday, midday. Security was a cinch and I was at my gate a little under 2 hours early.

I was assigned a middle-of-three seat in the aircraft, a seat that I wasn’t fond of. I had planned on checking in early online, changing it to a window seat, and moving on with my day. I didn’t check in early, my seat stayed the same, and I went on with my day. I contemplated going to the ticketing agent and attempting to change my seat from there, as I’ve heard people can have success going that route. After much contemplation, I decided that I would suck it up, deal with the middle-of-three seat, try not to fall asleep, and move on with my day.

Not too long before we started boarding the aircraft, my name was called over the intercom. I thought I was getting bumped from the flight, and went up to the ticketing agent. She asked if I was traveling alone, and said she was going to do me a favor: give me a window seat. She asked if I would mind, thanked me, I thanked her and told her I appreciated it, and I went on with my day. I called a friend, spoke about karma, and how I had wanted to initially change my seat, but opted out in order to remain simple and un-needy.

I was in the last group to board. Right before the group was called, they called me over the intercom again. I thought for sure this time was the time I get bumped from the flight. I walked up to the ticketing agent, she thanked me for my patience, expressed some sort of gratitude (for what, I don’t know), and said she was doing me another favor: she upgraded me to first class.

I couldn’t help but to think of how this series of seemingly small events may have been the specific verification of karma’s existence in life – one of those few defining moments we often seek for proof, confirmation, understanding, and validation.

Or, perhaps it was simply a series of random events, similar to lightning striking the same place twice.

Or at worst, perhaps it was simply just one person doing something nice for a total stranger.

I probably don’t mind which one it turns out to be; I like what each option implies.


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