I swiped this pic from my friend’s Facebook page (Hi Lynne!), because I’ve always liked the way it read.

Nice Matters.

Not matters that are nice, but the absolutely irrefutable fact that being nice really does matter. Case in point: yesterday’s incredibly crazy airport experience.

I left my daughter’s house for the airport yesterday morning about 10:00, for the 2 hour direct flight home from Tampa. Easy peasy. About half way there, I checked my phone app for flight info and saw that it had been delayed an hour. So she ran an errand, and we proceeded on. After another check, it was delayed again, so we ran another quick errand and had lunch. This went on through two more delays, and finally, I had her drop me off at the airport to wait it out, since she was done with her errands and really needed to get the kids home. We said our heart-wrenching goodbyes and I rolled my luggage into a madhouse of an airport check-in area.

There were people EVERYWHERE. A line wrapped from the Spirit Airlines desk, all the way around the escalators and down the other side, in front of three other airlines’ check-in points. Apparently, a couple of flights had been cancelled to Chicago, because of weather, and other flights were extremely backed up because of it.

I travel quite a bit. I’m no stranger to airline issues, but I’m blessed to say that, lately, I’ve had pretty problem-free flight experiences. So, I took this one in stride because I figured I was due. It’s no small thing to transport hundreds of people at a time to thousands and thousands of places, worldwide. Think of the intricacy of the process and how one small hitch can domino into quite a problem. The fact that we pay for this service does not override the fact that it’s run by humans. Stuff happens over which we have no control.

I stood in line between a woman whose family was on one of the cancelled Chicago flights to attend her husband’s daughter’s wedding, and another man who had also been cancelled, but was just going for a long leisure weekend. As the woman calmly stood in the refund line, her husband and their children were at another airlines buying more tickets, because they had no choice. They had to get to that wedding, and Spirit had no other flights out to Chicago yesterday. Those other tickets were out of their budget, but they did what they had to do, and when one of the Spirit personnel came down the line to talk refunds, she was very kind and respectful, getting their problem solved quickly and efficiently. Truly, I enjoyed her immensely. In contrast, the man just headed out for the weekend apparently really needed that vacation because he was IRATE. He complained and bad-mouthed the airline to anyone who would listen, and when that poor Spirit rep got to him, she was lambasted by a venomous tirade. She couldn’t calm the man down and there was nothing – NOTHING – she could say to make him happy. It held up the line even further, causing further irritation all around.

By the time I actually got checked in, then went through two more delays, I admit to being tired and a little cross myself; I’m not gonna lie. All the people that finally got on the plane to Dallas were visibly weary; we’d all had the same kind of day. When the flight attendants came through with the drink cart, a man across the aisle asked for his Coke, then, out of the blue, started in on those attendants about how they should be providing free beverages for us after hours and hours of delays (you pay for everything on Spirit, due to their very low rates) , AND how they should be ashamed to work for such a company.

Ashamed? Seriously?

The poor attendant actually teared up, and though she tried to act professionally, she’d had a long day, too, being tied up in other airports, and dealing with legions of other disgruntled travelers. He finally let up, but the damage had been done. Shaken, she turned to help the next person, who very gently said this…

Thank you for serving me.

A brilliant smile spread across that attendant’s weary face, as she said, “it’s my pleasure,” and the air was suddenly lighter, freed from its previous tension.

I’m thankful to have had a flight at all, and to be home (home!), but mostly, I’m thankful for the reminder of how being nice can make or break a situation or a person. We are to be the fragrance of Christ in the world, not be contributors to the stench. Take notice today of someone who could use a kind word, and spread some nice around.


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” Colossians 3:12 ESV

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.” 2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.” Matthew 7:12 MSG