While changing planes in Dallas, Texas, Grant Spanier boarded his flight assuming he would be taking a seat in 21A, the window seat he paid for.
Upon arriving at his row, he found a woman already comfortably settled in his seat. When he asked her if she preferred the window seat, she simply responded 'yes,' and smiled.
Needless to say, Spanier was miffed. He had already had a stressful morning and had specifically booked the window so that he could space out for the rest of the flight.
Following his gut reaction, he grabbed his phone and started to punch in an angry text to his friend complaining about his seat mate. Suddenly an unexpected emotion hit him. He felt sadness.
He deleted the angry words he had typed and asked himself who would benefit from his negativity? Would it change anything? Would it make anyone feel better?
He chose to control his frustration, focus on it, and choose not to be annoyed.
"I chose happiness, and It was exhilarating."
Halfway through the flight, a flight attendant came around for drink orders. When Spanier ordered his Irish coffee, the woman in the window seat piped in and said to put it on her bill. She wanted to thank Spanier for being a great seat mate.
She then continued to share her story of losing a loved one because of a plane crash, the reason why she preferred to sit near a window.
Human beings have no idea what their neighbors are going through, but we do know how to control our emotions. We can choose frustration, angry, and hate, or we can choose positivity, understanding, and happiness.
I encourage you to read this full piece to see his full reflection on this experience.