Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giving Directions

     I was at the Philadelphia airport this morning and as I was walking toward my gate, I saw two women of Asian descent, looking confused as they tried to figure out where they needed to go.  I stopped and asked them if they needed help.  With somewhat limited English, they indicated that they needed to get to Gate B9 (we were in the C terminal).  I was able to explain to them just how to get there and sent them on their way.
     As I reflected later, I noticed two things about this interaction.  First, I was glad that I went out of my way to notice their confusion and offer to help.  Plenty of other people may have responded if they asked for assistance, but not done anything more proactive.  Second, I realized in retrospect that I could have done more.  I could easily have walked them to the gate rather than simply pointing the direction and explaining the steps.  While I may not always have time to do so, in this particular instance, I did in fact have enough time before my flight to easily walk them to their destination and make it back in time.  
     Too often we think of these things after the fact.  Hopefully this recognition will at least make me more aware the next time I'm in a similar situation so that I can go the extra steps to be of even greater help to someone in need.

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