This post comes as a sincere plea for some consideration. When I let you out in traffic, please wave or smile. When I hold a door for you, I’d appreciate a “thank you.” And for the love of God, when we are crammed in together on a packed airplane, please refrain from reclining your seat! While it may afford you some comfort or promote your efforts to take a nap, your invasion of my space is not welcome or comfortable.
As I think about this topic, I am hard pressed to understand why a seat recline in coach is even an option. Airlines should have those seats bolted in an upright position. Can’t sleep like that? That’s a shame. Really. My heart bleeds for you. But here’s a news flash: It’s not always just about you.
As hard as I try, I just can’t see how the person who chooses to recline doesn’t even think about how their change in position is impacting the person behind them. Or even worse, maybe they do and they just don’t care. All I know is that when the woman in front of me pushed the button on her armrest and flattened out in front of me, visions of me using my tray table soon disappeared. The almost comfortable knee space I once knew vanished. And I was no longer just elbow to elbow with the person next to me, but now also almost face to face with her. As I struggled to not hit her in the head with the magazine I was reading, I seriously almost offered to rub her temples.
For the most part, I see myself as a pretty adaptable person. I roll with the punches. But if I think about my three biggest pet peeves, I realize they are all rooted in the same thing: a lack of consideration for others. I mean, if I took the time to hold a door for you, how hard is it to say “thank you”? When there’s a line of traffic and we’re all eager to move, wouldn’t it be nice to smile at someone who gives you an “in”? And when we’re packed in together like sardines on a full flight, do you think maybe you can respect the tiny bit of personal space I overpaid for and not recline your seat? It’s not rocket science. You won’t win any awards. But you just might make a positive difference in someone else’s day.