I was waiting for my flight one afternoon in DFW where, unbeknownst to me, I would have a front seat to the cutest display of humanity I’ve ever witnessed. I was sitting in the gate area minding my own business when the gate agent’s voice came over the intercom calling families, military, and zone one.
People started filing down the jet bridge as is typical, but if you’re not familiar with DFW, or at least this particular gate, let me explain the setup. Of course there is a jet bridge which is enclosed and stretches accordion-like to the plane itself. However, at this gate there is a sort of waiting hall before you get to the jetway. This hall is enclosed with glass, starts right past the ticket counter and zig zags its way out of site to the jet bridge. The first half of the hall is basically in the same space as the waiting area (where everyone sits) and is separated only by the glass wall.
As I said, zone one had been called and normally it’s a streamlined process, but soon the jet bridge and the entrance hall had backed all the way up all the way to the gate. The gate agent had forgotten to wait for the flight attendants to do their safety checks. Oops!
People were standing in line trapped in this space where they couldn’t sit comfortably in the gate area, they had to simply stand there and wait. And wait. Most were occupied with their phones, a few were talking to those next to them, but one little boy had had enough. He began crawling toward the glass and once he reached it he balled up his hands and started pounding on it. His little fists were no match for the thick glass. In fact, they were barely audible, but he didn’t care he went on and on. His parents weren’t bothered, his brother was looking at him glassy-eyed and bored, so the little boy continued on, peering into the gate area desperate for something. Attention or a distraction, something. His wide-eyed, voiceless pleas were answered in form of a tiny little girl with all her wispy hair pulled atop her head in a messy would-be ponytail. In her mother’s arms she pointed at the boy. Her young mother looked at the boy and said to her daughter, “Want to say hi?”
The little girl responded with a gleeful bounce.
The little boy saw this and instantly engaged. The girl bounced and bounced until finally she was released. She ran clumsily to the glass. Soundlessly the two began communicating. His little light brown hand flattened gently against the glass her pale one met his. His second hand went up and so did hers. On and on they communicated without speaking. The room was transfixed. People started taking pictures of this adorable scene, this moment of life, of human oneness. Though they didn’t have a language to speak they communicated, showing compassion and respect; the girl saw the boy needing a friend and once she came to the rescue, the boy was receptive and didn’t bang on the glass anymore. Soon it was time for the plane to board and that special moment had passed.
What I had witnessed, what all of us had witnessed was something truly special, something truly human. The two children’s complete indifference for each other’s gender, each other’s race, each other’s background, was so moving. It reminded me that you can learn from people at any age. It showed me that we’re inherently accepting of each other. Lastly, it reminded me that sometimes it’s important to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes it’s good to see things through a child’s eyes.