I use the personal reminder of, "These folks are not professional travelers" to calm annoyances that I feel during a work day. Yesterday, I went to Northwest, Arkansas-LAX turn. On the way back, there was a gentleman that boarded the aircraft, looked in his mid-thirties, carrying an expensive duffel bag.
Throughout the 3 hour flight, one of the other flight attendants, and myself, chatted with him and the woman sitting next to him. The two of them were funny, and they made us laugh. Toward the end of the flight, He got up, and we had the following exchange (more or less):
Gentleman: "I just have a question. I have my $1500 Louis Vuitton bag, and I don't want it to get crushed in the overhead bin when I travel back to Arkansas, cause it's really nice. Is there another place you have to put bags?
Kara: "No, not really. Pretty much under your seat or the overhead bins. Maybe in crew stowage, but probably not. It would depend on who was working if you could put it there."
G: "I mean cause I usually fly first class, and when I fly first class, they put my bags in a different place.
K: (smirking) "Well, uh...obviously Allegiant doesn't have first class." (teasingly) "So you're VIP or something, huh?"
G: "No, I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just my wife and I like nice things, and have nice things, and it's a really nice bag. I could have brought my $3000 Louis Vuitton, but I brought my $1500 one."
K: (definitely trying not to laugh). "Well, hmmm...maybe for next time, bring your $5 bag." (and now laughing).
G: "oh, well...alright. How bout you just bring me that Bacardi?"
And of course the three of us "stews" had a laugh about that one. I just kept thinking are you serious? People are just ridiculous. Spending that much on something just to put stuff in? Is it really important? How many people could you help in this world with $1500? How many lives could be changed with $3000.
But, then it got me thinking: What's my "Louis Vuitton"?
What do I have in my life that I put so much value, time, money, or energy into that is in reality, insignificant? Is it that I think I am better than this gentleman because I didn't spend $3000 on a bag? But really, am I any different? If I did have extra money just to spend, how might I spend it? It might not be a $1500 bag, but I'll admit, it would be on myself.
How could I change the world around me if I stopped with so many of my own "Louis Vuittons"?
Earlier this month, I visited ADRA's Gift Catalog. ADRA is an organization that improves the lives of people around the world. The agency searches out deprivation, social injustice, and need, and then searches out ways to eliminate them. Through the gift catalog, you can browse gifts by program, region, price, or view them all. Did you know that it only takes $2.25 to feed a street child in Brazil?
I know how it is for some of us: college students, college grads with loans, making chump change as flight attendants. But, I want to challenge you (and myself), to give more. To stop with so much of the "Louis Vuitton purchases." Let's give, whether it be our money or our time, and see what happens.