It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and only remember those who have criticized or hurt you along the way. The human condition seems to focus on the negative experience and perseverate on them, often forgetting simple acts of kindness along the way and how they add up to build a net of support.
Recently, pilot Laura Smith generated a survey on “kindness in aviation.” Laura publishes an “ezine” called Aviatrix Aerogram which I occasionally contribute to with articles and comments. The survey gave me a chance to sit back and reflect about the kindness shown to me through the journey of producing BTTC. I found the experience humbling. There are the people who agreed to be interviewed for the story, the audiences who showed up at the screening and took time to talk about the film’s impact, those who purchased the DVD to share with others, the man who unexpectedly gave me a $100 donation, the pilots who took time to fly their vintage planes for the recreation shoot, the crew who helped me produce the film, those who believed in and supported my vision and on and on.
Experiencing acts of kindness from others provides a model and motivation to pass that kindness on. The women of the derby offered great examples of this throughout the race as well as afterwards. For example, Ruth Nichols gave Louise Thaden some cans of tomatoes to carry in her plane for emergencies during the race. Bobbi Trout helped Vera Dawn Walker find a plane so Vera could compete in the derby. When Mary Haizlip’s plane did not make it to the starting line in time, the women signed a petition stating it was ok for Mary to start the race a day late. In Yuma, Arizona, the women voted to wait until Amelia Earhart’s propeller was fixed before resuming the race. There are many more examples during the race of kindness being exhibited, from spectators to sponsors to organizers. The passion the women had to fly seemed to be contagious and helped to create a generous spirit throughout the entire event.
We are in an age today where it’s so easy to post negative comments and criticism without holding any accountability. As a result, it’s even more important to remember and treasure the positive and random acts of kindness that do come our way as well as perpetuate kindness to others.
Do you have a random act of kindness you’d like to share? Please post below if you do. Thank you as always for being a part of my community.