I came across the attached link (bottom of posting) for the crazy Jet Blue pilot who got locked out of his own cockpit because he became unruly, incoherent and disorderly. I find it really interesting that at the end of the ABC News video, the pilots wife is quoted as stating, “…please have patience. There are two sides to every story”.
I think that is an unusual perspective, not because it’s off center or wrong, but because it’s rare that people take the time to look at all the aspects of a story or problem.
When we get cut off by the soccer mom, or disrespected in line at the grocery store, or treated rudely by a waitress, most people will respond with a personal affront (How dare you!). What if we all took more time to actually consider what is going on for that person? What if we did put ourselves in their shoes? What if at the very least, we remembered what it was like for us the last time we were way too stressed, got bad news or simply had “one of those bad days”? We would all probably create more empathy instead of conflict.
I”m guilty of it myself when someone drives too slow, or gets into an accident that creates a traffic jam that now impacts my schedule. I pass judgment and take on the anger of that situation. Every now and then I can remember one of the best sayings I’ve ever heard in my life, “If that’s the worst thing that happens to you today, it’s not so bad”. I have my husband to thank for that bit of wisdom. Sure it won’t work the day you get into the car accident, but 99% of the time the things that are happening are minor on the life scale of crap. Thankfully, the bigger crap comes in smaller doses.
So as I read the story on this Jet Blue pilot, I automatically considered what mental illnesses might be at play, like another recent airline scuffle with a stewardess who claimed she was Bipolar when taken off a plane for related erratic behavior. I realize that I “go there” more automatically than most will due to my training as a therapist, but I can predict the outcome in our society if we all delayed our judgmental responses and considered that people are just trying to get through their days, doing the best they can. And that sometimes our best is thwarted by things outside of our control.
Now, if it turns out that this guy was really dropping acid in the bathroom, I’m gonna be pissed, but I will practice delaying that judgement.