Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 3/20/2023
I’m going to hit four million air miles (since 1963 when I took my first flight on a Caravelle jet from Stockholm to London, returning from an exchange student stint in Europe—we sailed over on the original Queen Mary) when we fly to Paris and back at the end of the month. As you can imagine, I’ve had wild experiences (hit by lightning on planes five times, emergency landings in Fiji, sitting next to Dolly Parton for ten hours, and so forth). I’ve flown on the Concorde, which was one of the highlights of all my travels.
On one trip, returning to Providence, I had a glass of red wine still pretty full, which I managed to spill on the man next to me in the window seat. He had on a business suit, grey, and the wine made a colossal mess.
I was apologizing profusely as the flight attendant brought pretty useless tiny cocktail napkins. What we needed was a wet/dry shop vacuum.
The man said, “Don’t worry, I’m coming home, my wife is picking me up, I can simply send this to the cleaners. It’s no big deal.”
I learned a tremendous lesson that day, which was there are few traits as powerful as grace. Grace is about elegance and good will. This man realized that it was an accident, that I felt awful, and the consequences were minor in the general scheme of things. I offered to pay for the cleaning but, of course, he declined.
I used to get ornery when by the time they reached my seat they were out of my favored meal! Today I’m still far from perfect, but I learned from that day forward not only to put things in perspective but also to put others at ease when no great harm was really done.
It did take me a while though to calm down when they removed the upstairs piano lounges from the 747s. I’m not kidding, you can look it up.
I want to be as gracious and thankful as I can because it has been a long road. —Maren Morris
If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world. —Francis Bacon
I haven’t always been as gracious a loser as I could have been. —Pam Shriver