Scott is drunk. How do I know? He told us so. We met Scott in the Admiral's Club at DFW as my friend Joy and I awaited our flight to Paris to celebrate her 29th birthday. Scott must have sensed our enthusiasm about going to Paris because as soon Joy and I entered what we thought was our private nook in the club to talk about our upcoming trip soon became a party for three, with Scott as the lead host.
"I just flew in from South America and now I have a 12-hour layover. I am pretty drunk, I have been sitting here for almost 10 hours," Scott confessed in the very first thing he ever uttered to us.
Do you know when you have that immediate instinct when you are in for a very long conversation with someone who isn't quite capable of pulling it off? Joy and I shared glances with each knowing this is one of those times. In these instances I always challenge myself to truly engage so that I can somehow discover the important message that is about to be imparted from a very unlikely source. I have discovered that some of our greatest lessons come from teachers that are disguised in very surprising packages. It was in this moment that I decided to settle in and wait for this message from the Universe. So, I waited.
Joy is a very sweet soul. I must say she is one of those rare breeds that truly is conscious and takes great joy in bringing joy to others. This is why I call her "Joy".
"Would you like a drink? They have free wine in the Admiral's Club." Joy asked in her ever-giving spirit.
It is a birthday celebration so I enthusiastically responded, "Red wine."
Without a second's notice Joy turned to head to the bar but before she could navigate Scott's turf at the corner of the room he reached out and grabbed her arm to stop her.
"I have free top shelf drink coupons. You can have a couple," Scott interrupted graciously.
Joy paused for one moment to consider the proposition and before she could answer Scott interceded.
"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal. A woman gave them to me earlier and I am pretty sure I have had too much to drink. I am not going to use these anyway so I would like to give them to you," he offered.
This is the amazing beauty of life. The minute, the very second you might consider judging someone or feeling somehow superior to them they will completely surprise you and do something that opens your heart just a little more. Scott didn't have to give us the coupons but something told me that he did have to because this was just the kind of guy Scott is: he is a closet kind guy. You know the kind. He is too cool to say or want to be called kind but secretly he is a giver. I always love guys like Scott because I think we need a lot more of them.
Joy is no stranger to being offered things and in fact she always says, "you got to keep the flow going. It is as important to receive as it is to give." Joy happily accepted and then skipped off to the bar to get our drinks. When she returned Scott and I have fully engaged in a conversation about everything from what countries to visit in South America, to how Scott agreed with me about the beauty of Costa Rica and how some day it would be amazing to retire there , to Scott's fascination with the makes of the models of the planes that were taxiing outside and finally Scott's in depth analysis of the eight companies he was considering joining in Detroit to repatriate himself back into the America workforce. Scott was currently living abroad in Portugal but he was hoping to return to the US with his family.
Scott was especially enthusiastic about almost everything but the thing that impressed me most about Scott was his kindness. Here was a man that had only known Joy and me for no longer than a minute when he offered us a free drink as a random act of kindness. This, to me, is one of the most special encounters of all and it is an encounter that only confirms the fact that we are all connected and if we just share a little of our humanity through kindness we WILL meet someone who can brighten our day.
Scott and I had been talking for about 30 minutes when I noticed that Joy was conspicuously absent from our conversation. Her trip to the bar had apparently been diverted when Joy started talking to an Admiral's Club employee about the benefits of juicing. Joy recently "stole" my juicer at my house one day because she always wanted to see the benefits of it. By the time she returned the juicer several weeks later she had become a convert and now she was the Chief Evangelist for Mother Earth's vegetables.
Joy takes her job very seriously and she began telling the employee "Warrior Princess" (we promised to keep her identity a secret for reasons we will reveal later) all of the health benefits of vegetable juicing. "Warrior Princess" was so entranced she told Joy that her mother had died of cancer and she was determined to not share her mother's fate.
Joy said, "Start juicing. It will change your life."
"Warrior Princess" agreed to start and simultaneously began an instant friendship with Joy.
True to form for Joy she made a new friend and her "Warrior Princess" invited her, against Admiral's Club rules (this is why she remains nameless. She is too kind to be unemployed), to come into the first class dining lounge to enjoy all of the amenities of flying in high class.
Joy quickly came back to where I was sitting with Scott after he had described in minute detail his 73rd spec on an American Airlines' plane. I know as much about planes as I do about Einstein's Theory of Relativity but I was trying my best to hang in there and act interested but I had quickly become like the person who off-handedly asked how someone's day was and then was horrified to discover that they were indeed going to give a moment by moment update on their day.
When Joy came rushing in I instantly felt the "storm the beaches of Normandy" relief that someone in a hopeless situation may feel when they are longing for liberation. I came to love Scott however his 11th seven and seven had made it more and more difficult to interpret a language we could only assume was English at this point.
"Hey, you want to go to the First Class Lounge and eat? I just met a woman and we struck up a conversation," Joy asked. "She told me to come back and get you and come on in," Joy said as she paused to add suspiciously, "Oh yeah, don't saying anything about getting in free. "Warrior Princess" said she could get into trouble for letting us do this."
How exciting! I felt like a felon breaking into a forbidden zone to steal a banana muffin and a free cup of tea and then slipping out undetected into the night. The Universe was working for us...in a big away.
Joy and I went into the First Class Dining Area. We sat down and both Joy and I looked at each other and realized how incredibly blessed we are. Joy surveyed the room and saw that in this exclusive lounge they have free champagne and drinks. Food lines the tables; fresh fruit, pasta, soups, muffins and desert are laid out before anyone who desires them. The only qualification you need to get any of this is the dexterity to use the serving spoons and tongs.
Since it is almost Joy's birthday she asked if I would partake in a glass of champagne to celebrate her impending 29th year on this planet.
"Of course," I said. "This is your birthday and whatever you want to do I am your wingman."
Joy kindly got up and poured us each a glass of champagne. I told you she is sweet. It is her birthday and yet she got the champagne. She delivered two glasses of foaming champagne to our table as we raised our glasses for the greatest journey of our lives.
"To love, kindness and our upcoming adventure," I clinked my glass against Joy's as the biggest smile lit up her face.
"I am the happiest I have even been in my life," she beamed.
"You deserve it, gorgeous girl. You did the one thing very few people do: you found yourself and there is no one more beautiful than you," I said meaning each and every word.
She IS remarkable. She threw off the shackles of a former unpleasant life and she reclaimed herself. And I must tell you, as someone who sees her each day, she becomes more and more beautiful with each passing sunset. Why? Because she went within and this is where we always rediscover ourselves.
And there we were, two people who both want to dedicate our lives to love and compassion sitting in the First Class Lounge in the Admiral's Club about to depart on Joy's birthday celebration in Paris. Wow, the Universe provides if we only choose to let Her. We don't have to know how, we don't have to know when or with whom--we only have to decide that this is what we desire and soon this beautiful Universe will orchestrate everything.
We desire love. We desire kindness. We desire compassion. We desire understanding. So why not be it? Why not embody it to show others all they can be? Why, if given the chance wouldn't we all rise up and be the change we so long to see. Because each of us has a magical force behind us that guides us perfectly. Each of us has a power so great we can transform the world if only we take the first step toward kindness, love and compassion. If we take that first step then kindness, love and compassion will certainly step towards us and when She does the embrace of life you feel will be better than any love you have ever felt in your life.
And when kindness, love and compassion find you it will illuminate you as it does my beloved Joy.