As I sit in Terminal 3 at the LAX airport, I glance across the rows of seats. I observe all walks of people. I see all ethnicities, all genders, all faces, all body shapes, all different types of clothing, different families with different luggage and entertainment.
There is a man opposite me with giant white headphones wearing a yellow flannel and an LA Kings snapback. A woman is calmly sitting next to him that’s been perusing her purse for quite some time. She has dark hair, a larger build, a pink jacket, and glasses. She laughed with the man on the other side of her that is clearly not her husband. This elderly man is eating Burger King in his business suit and surfing on his phone, probably through social media. Across the way is a young Asian man with a mustache deeply enthralled in his Kindle and sipping his Starbucks. There are people who just stood up and started Christmas caroling because their flight has been delayed multiple hours. These people clearly have singing experience together, probably in a choir, and just fancied a little joy.
These people are all going somewhere. They are off to their respective locations. There are six flights/gates in this area, so that is six different cities around the country. The terminal is packed full of people traveling all over, and not only to the varying cities but to the location after they exit off the plane. This terminal is packed full of destinations and stories.
It’s not just the story of them going to visit family and friends, going to business meetings, or going on a vacation. It’s the story underneath all of that that is truly incredible. You know your own story, and how complicated you are under all of your outward layers. Just imagine all of these people are the same. I am surrounded right now by hundreds of people with completely different stories, and backgrounds. They are all going somewhere for a different reason, with a purpose, yet with a completely different purpose than my own.
While we are all so different in these ways, we are also similar. The simple fact that we do have stories makes us similar. Everyone has somewhere to go, but everyone has also been somewhere. With this, we must carry empathy and kindness with us everywhere, for you never know where someone has been, why they have been there, or why they are here now.
Spread your loving kindness—we are all different, but we all have a story.