The way this blog works, usually, is that I think about something through the week and I decide that this thing will be the subject of that week’s post. Then I let it steam gently in my brain for a day or two and then I write it down. If it’s a story or a memory, I can usually tell if it’s passable or not. When it’s just a thought, though, it’s harder to ascertain whether it has any value. The only thing to do is to write it and see.
Life is like a journey on a commercial flight.
That’s the thought.
The danger is that it’s one of those lines that a priest might throw out at the start of a sermon and then go on to flog it to death in a yawn-inducing litany of awfulness. I’ll try not to do that. ‘Get in and get out quickly’, that’s the plan.
‘Life is like a journey on a commercial flight,’ I though to myself this week.
On a commercial flight, most of us sit in the regular seats, Economy Class. We cram in to undersized accommodation, beside people who we don’t want to know, and (if we’re lucky) we get fed little containers of stuff that we wouldn’t look at twice at on the ground. Oh, and a hard bread roll. Let’s not forget the hard bread roll.
But there are other people on the plane. Up the front. People you don’t see much of, unless a curtain gets parted or momentarily left askew before being rigorously tugged back into place. These are the First Class people, the Business Class people. Call them what you will, their lives are better than ours. They get better food and drink, and more of it. Their seats are wider and comfier. They get smiled-at more. Life is just a darned-sight better and easier for them.
This analogy would be better if there was a class behind us too. A sort of ‘Airplane Steerage’ where folks in flat caps are made to sit on wooden benches and are prevented from breaking into impromptu jigs for reasons of safety and health. These steerage people would regard me in my Economy seat with ‘envious eyes’ just as I would be staring up at the Business Class bods with the same green-eyed ire.
There we would all be, flying along, envying each other, in our airplane… in our life.
Then turbulence hits.
It hits hard.
It doesn’t matter what seat you are in then. It doesn’t matter how comfy the cushion is, how fizzy the pomade. Everybody in the plane is rocked the same way. Everybody becomes aware of their heart beating in their chest.
Push the thought to the ridiculous extreme. The plane loses control, tumbles to the ground and crashes. What matters it then who is in First or who is in Imaginary Steerage?
This week, I thought that life is very much like that.
Some of us sleep on feathers, some on cushions, some of us on hard rocks. It matters little, in the bigger picture. We are all on the same ride and the things that make the poor tremble make the rich tremble too. The things that devastate the steerage man will surely do the same up in that rarefied place where the grapes and the linen serviettes are.
It’s all window-dressing and it isn’t worth our envy. Whatever seat you find yourself in, bring along a good book and enjoy the view and the interaction as best you can. Don’t waste time worrying about the dude in front of you with the caviar. When it all comes crashing down, as it inevitably must, it won’t be about the quality of the ride. It will be about how well you enjoyed it.
There are no original thoughts or very few at best. I know this. These thoughts I have won’t ever be new or startling or revolutionary. The only real value they have is that they are mine and I made them myself.
It’s like the difference of you eating your corn flakes out of a bowl you bought in the shop and eating them out of a bowl you crafted yourself, with your own fair hand.
There’s no difference, not really. Not to anyone but you.
That’s enough thoughts and comparisons for this week, Ken. Ta very much.
Any chance of a funny story next week?
For a change.