Written: October 10th, 2011 A few weeks back I hopped on a plane with my dad to accompany him on a business trip. The flight was booked solid and there were no extra seat anywhere. Out of all the seats I could be placed in, I was given the seat in front of the exit row, which means my seat, by law, can’t recline.   So there I am on a packed flight, sitting in a middle seat, in a non-reclining chair on a six-hour flight. But that’s only the beginning. Out of all the seats on the plane, my seat was broken. The headrest was detached from the chair and instead of a cushioned head rest, my head was resting on metal. Not quite what you would call flying comfortably. I did my best to make the best of it, but I was not very successful. Half way through the flight, my neck felt like it was breaking. I called over the flight attendant and explained my situation. The flight attendant was very abrupt and said there were no extra chairs and with that walked away. I was taken aback by the lack of sensitivity the flight attendant showed me but what shocked me even more was her reaction when I stood in the aisle to stretch for a bit. I couldn’t sit down anymore, so I decided the least I could do was stretch. She immediately told me to clear the aisle and get back in my seat. The fasten seat belt sign wasn’t on and I couldn’t understand her hostile behavior. Least to say, I was not a happy camper and it made me question what happened to the entire flying experience. I disembarked and suggested to my father that we write a complaint letter to the airline. What a terrible way to treat a customer. After all that’s what feedback is all about – people writing their experiences so that others are well informed. Let’s skip ahead now to this past week (October 4th). A friend of mine came in from out of town and we decided to go for a nice steak dinner. He heard of a place that I had never been to but I’m always willing to try something new. From the moment we entered the restaurant the people there were so exceptionally kind. At one point the manager of the restaurant came over to our table to ask how we were doing and began conversing with us. Every person there was so pleasant to be around. I was about to walk out of the restaurant when something hit me. I was so quick to send the airline negative feedback just two weeks ago, yet here I am with positive feedback and I was going to keep it to myself? Before leaving the restaurant, I went over to the manager and told him how much I enjoyed the restaurant and the service they provided. I could tell that he appreciated the positive feedback. When I stepped out of the restaurant I realized that very often we run to give negative feedback when things don’t go our way, but how often do we run to give positive feedback. The way I see it, if we don’t acknowledge the good out there then we aren’t giving incentive for people to perpetuate goodness. If we only speak up when we dislike something, we aren’t giving ample and much needed support to the things we do like. Eventually, the negativity we send out will only produce more negative energy. In a sense, we become responsible for the things we raise our voices to in protest. Let’s begin to promote good, to promote kindness, to promote love by sharing our positive experiences. Although I believe that the everyday kindnesses of the back roads more than makes up for the greed in the headlines, why are we not as forthcoming with our praise of the everyday kindnesses in the same way that we publicize our negative sentiments. 2/2/12: Looking back at this entry that I wrote a few months ago, I have a newfound appreciation for the power of gratitude. Towards the end of December 2011 the “Kindness Boomerang” film went viral; traveling across the globe, inspiring those whose path it crossed. Since then, comments have been pouring in on a daily basis (facebook, youtube, twitter, etc) – it’s been amazing! I make it a point to read every single comment and respond. People have asked me, “Orly, are you crazy – how do you answer every comment, what’s the point?” The truth is that reading comments on the film is one of the very best parts of my day because it reminds me why I am doing what I’m doing. Having left my job to pursue Life Vest Inside was not such an easy transition financially. There are very difficult moments, however the inspiring and heart warming comments from people who have seen the film and connect to the message of the organization gets me through those difficult days. One of the very first things I do when I wake up in the morning is read through comments even while in bed. Those comments lift my spirits and help me pop out of bed with the largest smile on my face, ready to be fully invested in yet another inspiring day working on Life Vest Inside. So, to all those who have reached out and connected with me, just know that it means more than you know! Through your positive feedback I am energized each and every day. On that note: I would like to encourage each person reading this blog to make a conscious effort to send positive feedback to a person, business, local store, teacher, employer, or anyone for that matter that you appreciate and show your gratitude. I can guarantee they will continue to give you reasons to be grateful. A simple thank you goes a long way – so what are we waiting for?
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