The Quest for Personal Power



“Halfway down the stairs, is a stair, where I sit. There isn’t any, other stair, quite like, it. I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top; So this is the stair, where, I always, stop. Halfway up the stairs, isn’t up, and isn’t down. It isn’t in the nursery, it isn’t in the town. And all sorts of funny thoughts, run round my head: It isn’t really anywhere! It’s somewhere else instead!” A.A. Milne

I do some of my best thinking in airports; I always have. I really don’t care for the state of air travel at the moment. It is disruptive, dehumanizing and you never feel totally safe, but airport lounges themselves are great. They have Wi-Fi, comfortable seats and commanding view of a swirling sea of humanity unlike any other.

In fact, I often arrive early just to give myself an opportunity to sit and observe the fragments of human lives that unfold before me.

It is tempting to think that other people have better jobs, or are closer to their families, or have more drama in their lives. But in truth it is all theatre. Everyone I can see is engaged in some sort of a struggle; and the greater their need to feel personal power, the more likely they are to demonstrate this in an airport waiting lounge.

Don’t tell me, you don’t understand what I am talking about – you know exactly what I mean.

How many times have you seen a woman with four shopping bags and wild hair taking up three seats? How many times have you seen a man pacing in circles talking too loudly into his Bluetooth about some “office crisis”? How many times have you seen a mother with three small wriggling children ignoring them while they shrieked and rolled on the floor in an unending wrestling match?

And when did air travel become a clothing optional experience? I sat next to a woman recently who had to be nearly forty, who was wearing nothing but a tank top that was too small for her and a pair of shorts that were so short that half her backside was exposed when she placed her carryon in the overhead bin. I had to literally stop her from climbing over top of me in this state of undress-yuck!

I can remember when air travel was a thrilling dressy affair involving hats and white gloves – now it seems to be a contest to see who can get through security looking the worst, but carrying the largest Louis Vuitton bag.

Oh well – it is not for me to judge, but I do recommend that you bring snacks. It is always nice to have something to nibble on when you take in a show (g)




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