Because the circumstances demanded it, we flew first class from Newark to Los Angeles just about a week ago. It was great. Free Scotch, free wine, free steak, free baggage check, free ..... wait a second. We paid for those free tickets. We paid a lot for those three tickets because we didn't want a ninety-three year old man stuck in steerage.
Here's what I learned from flying first class across the country.
First, remember that I am an extremely nervous flyer. I have a variety of people saying they are holding up the plane for me. I rarely relax even with those reassurances.
Trust me. Flying first class I relaxed. The seat extended into a bed. I slept. I was waited on and coddled and given all the attention two flight attendants could give all sixteen of us in first class.
What did I learn besides the fact that money buys attention?
I learned that when people (or least when I) feel tended to there is a whole lot less room for fear. That's what I learned in first class.
Somehow when I'm tossed into economy class where everything costs money, where there isn't even enough leg room to reach under the seat in front of me and pull out my skinny little back pack and where, by behavior and manner, no one gives a flying fuck about me I just don't feel quite as safe.
Okay. Let's expand that from the tin can carrying me across the country to society at large.
How much does it cost, seriously, to at least pretend that we care about people who, for example, live in unremitting poverty?
Might they feel a little safer if they believed that someone out there/here would tend to them if they needed it?
It's just a thought that I thought while flying first class. I can't imagine the flight attendants cared one whit about me but they were paid to pretend. And I paid to have them pretend.
And I wasn't afraid. Not once during that long flight.
Caring or pretending to care doesn't cost anything.
I will give this more thought but for now I will stick with feeling care for reduces fear.