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Delta, Friends and Kindness

I have been pretty consistent throughout my travels—always searching for the cheapest flights. I did this because it felt responsible not wasting company resources.

My experience with Delta airlines this past week meant so much to me. After losing one of my closest friends I feel shattered. I rearranged my flights to Kansas City from Detroit and they were the only airline that was able to fly out. There was a blizzard in Detroit on Monday but they powered through. I spoke with Kevin Wu about how I believed it was unlikely that we would get out. He told me that he always flies with Delta because of their reliability. He was right—we got out when no one else did.

When it came time to leave Kansas City, Delta impressed me once again. Some flights were being delayed due to the extreme weather in Minneapolis. I approached the ticketing agent to see if she could get me on an earlier flight so I wouldn’t miss my connection to Amsterdam. She worked her magic and did this with a smile on her face. It meant more to me than she will ever know. All I want is to get home to my loving wife and dog and the ability to hug both of them. Delta will get my business moving forward—they have my loyalty.

In the past I have leveraged social media as a tool to voice my concern towards businesses who “got it wrong.” I will handle this differently moving forward. Businesses employ people who have real emotion--this needs to be said and understood. Every attack towards a business is an attack towards a person. As far as I’m aware, artificial intelligence is not advanced enough yet to handle social media interactions and deal with upset clients. Some might be able to handle it well, others may not. Please consider that even though companies get it wrong, I genuinely believe they try to get it right because humans are overwhelmingly good. I hate to see people in pain. Doing the right thing is always the right thing. Good will triumph evil.

It is so easy to point out the dirt in people but I implore you to be the one that finds the gold. Surround yourself with people whose hearts are so filled with gold that it becomes a struggle to find any dirt at all. None of us are perfect—we all have our faults. No one is entirely good or bad.

When I think about my closest friends I’m overwhelmed with emotion because of their goodness. I have incredible friendships that I am so grateful for. When I needed a place to crash in Kansas City, friends came through for me. Their support helped me navigate this traumatic experience. They are all incredible listeners and I can only hope that I’m as good to them as they are to me.

Over lunch I asked them, “if the lights went out tomorrow and you had a chance to look back on your life and identify what you’re most proud of, what would you say?” They both answered the friendships they were able to cultivate. What a beautiful answer.

There cannot be light without darkness. It will not and cannot stay dark forever. As we review our own lives and have moments of introspection please remember to be kind. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. Being nice is easy if we consciously choose to be. I like being around nice people because it reinforces what I believe is important.

I get upset when I see or read business advice that often says “screw what other people think.” I can’t accept this. I want to be liked so badly—in business and outside of business. To me, that’s the only KPI worthy of conversation. For me to not be liked could suggest that I was mean, hurtful, dishonest, cruel, evil, etc.

My beloved father put me in the boy scouts as a young boy and I think often of the Scout Law which says a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. These seem like solid principles.

If you’ve taken the time to read this, I thank you.

Thank you for listening and please join me as we journey onwards in life and in goodness.

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