Spontaneous Humility

Humility beyond modest pretensions

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Within the last two months, travelling has been a key highlight in my family. This included two trans-Atlantic flights from the US to India (and back), two domestic flights from the Indian capital – New Delhi to the southern city of Chennai in India and finally a flight and back from Chicago to LA to visit with my sister and brother in law over the holidays.

For my fellow travelers, you would all associate with some of the travel nuisances. Such as – Lining up in long serpentine lines to check-in while carrying bags is a given. Security line-ups, unloading electronics and paraphernalia is a given. Anticipation and sometimes anxiety about the travel (especially for someone who is not super fond of air travel like me) is a given. Meeting several airlines officials who are the face of the company when it comes to interacting with passengers is a given. And I had the opportunity to have several such interactions over the past two months.

Like it or not – some of these interactions do not and will not matter. They are or will be easily forgotten. Some interactions, one might remember for a while, if the experience was particularly negative.

But some interactions linger – for the right reasons – for the spontaneous humility and kindness one feels in the interaction. It’s beyond customer service and service excellence that might have been taught in an organization.

Amid all the crazy travel, I was fortunate to have had a couple of such interactions in my recent sojourns especially during flying domestically in India. These were the check-in counter gentlemen in Delhi and Chennai with Indigo airlines – a place where you would least expect to have a sojourn with these impactful abilities.

Hard to describe it easily, but a strong presence and spontaneous humility in their demeanor is a good start. These gentlemen addressed my questions and concerns with a humility that was deeper than mere modesty. There was an aura of kindness while I was with them. As if, they really really cared and wanted to connect with a passenger on a human level. This was not about them being chatty, overly-friendly or loud. It was also not about them doing their jobs. It was about a strong presence and a grounding with the intention to help which I sensed in them. And I sensed this without it being explicitly said.

When I look back and think about similar interactions with random strangers, family, friends, and colleagues, it reinforces the belief that presence, humility, kindness, and desire to help makes everything happier and meaningful.

I am sure readers here would agree when they reminisce about such interactions in spontaneous humility they might have had in their lives.

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