A few days ago, I connected through Houston Bush as I made my way to my next destination. I’ve noticed recently that airports are now back to pre-pandemic traffic. In fact, they seem even busier.

As I began my 12-minute walk to the gate, I observed a motorized cart parked right in the middle of the concourse, and several elderly people were comfortably sitting on it.

The driver was busy loading bags on the cart when one lady said, “Young man! We have a flight in 40 minutes. Will you get us there on time?”

Without missing a beat, the driver said, “I’ll get you there, honey!”

I also need to add here that the question from the elderly lady was short and direct. In fact, it was borderline rude. As I passed through and heard the short conversation, it seemed like the driver might respond with something like this …

Look, ma’am … While most people are having to walk to their gate, you are going to ride in comfort. Let me do my job, and I will do my best to get you there on time!”

But amidst the chaotic environment, the driver was calm and kind. To soften his response, he even added “Honey.”

Think First

I wish I had the natural patience displayed by the driver in this scenario, but I don’t. In my case, I must focus on thinking first before I react.

Let’s take a situation where this approach might be applied …

Christy:Jimmie, I was told you would have your part of the report ready by this morning. It’s the afternoon, and I don’t have it. What’s up with that?”

[Before responding to Christy, I need to make sure I am calm and in control of what I am going to say.]

ME:Christy, you are right that I am late with my part of the report, and I apologize. Let me work on it right now, and you will have it in less than an hour.

Even as I wrote this response, my brain was telling me to come up with an excuse, and I know that no one wants to hear my explanation. The fact is that I failed to do my work, and there is no need to provide a reason. The best I can do here is to be accountable and get it done.

The Upper Hand is Overrated

As I spend more time in service of others, especially through our parish ministries, I am learning that getting the best of other people is silly. There was a time when I thought I needed to have the last word … I needed to show others I was better than them.

In the past, I would often have the last word, but I had few friends. The reality is that I was an outsider, with very few invites from others to attend group events.

Today, the Lord has softened my heart, and I am finding it easier to walk away from situations where I am insulted.

The cart driver taught me a lesson not covered in my formal education … a drop of honey can make all the difference.