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A Delayed Reaction

Mad Bear Perspective:

If you shine a light on anything in the right way, it has the potential to be powerful. So the challenge is to find the right story and the best way to tell it. This can apply to anything from business to every day life.

There is one place on earth where you can go to literally experience every emotion. My last visit to the airport was no exception. It was wintertime in Atlanta. Need I say more? The arrival and departure boards were full of bright red “delayed” and “cancelled” notifications. People walked up in droves and gazed at the signs as though staring would somehow switch it to “on-time.” Like deflated balloons travelers would then make their way over to their perspective gates to make arrangements (and to complain to the gate agent). I was delayed an hour. It was my daughter’s birthday. I was mad. Mind you she’s four she’s not going to know the difference. But dang it, this delay is messing with my day. I mean her day!

Others in the gate area were growing increasingly agitated as the delay went up another hour. Connections would be missed and plans would be ruined. I looked around at all the glum faces, and then I saw them. Dad in a military uniform, a very pregnant mom and her three other kids who all looked to be under the age of six, they didn’t look angry at all. One of the little boys sat on his dad’s lap, while another one stood behind him and kept bopping him on the head. Dad didn’t seem to care. He had an extra two hours. There was another child in a stroller who kept throwing stuff and then screaming for it. Dad would lean over—with the other kid still in his lap and the other one bopping him on the head—and keep passing it back to the stroller-bound baby. He didn’t seem to care. He had an extra two hours.

I caught a look between very-pregnant mom and military dad. It was a look I knew well, that look that says “I know. I hate it when the kids do that, but isn’t it cute!!” I didn’t need a book or a gossip mag. I was watching real life unfold, a real moment. All of a sudden a loud voice over the intercom informs the angry herd that our plane is here and we will start boarding momentarily. I felt a pit in my stomach. While throngs of people stood up to wait in line sneaking peeks at other people’s boarding passes to make sure they weren’t skipping zones, I waited. I felt like a peeping Tom, but I couldn’t stop watching my Military family. Dad still playing and keeping a smiling face, mom picked the baby up out of the stroller to hug him. There were tears. I thought I was going to lose it. My annoying two hour delay was another family’s gift. Time, they wanted to freeze. Finally dad picked up his bag and moved to the line. I felt like I should say “thank you for your service.” But this wasn’t about me or the dozens of other travelers and their destroyed plans this was about a family’s precious moment. Take pause in moments you dread, they are not always what they seem.

About the Author: Roshni Hannon

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.