Saturday, February 06, 2010

Diversity, Maybe Not

The Special Assistance area at the airport is always so incredibly ... um ... diverse. We arrived for our early morning flight and were brought in to wait for a woman, uncomfortable on her crutches but who refused a wheelchair, an elderly couple from India both with beautiful canes, and a young dude in a racing wheelchair. Then of course there in the line up, adding to this mix of people, Joe and I.

Everyone was 'church quiet' as we all just waited for our turn at the counter, our needs to be considered and met. The elderly couple were being assisted by two grandchildren, a boy about 12 and a girl about 20. The grand daughter did all the translation and everything was going smoothly. My eyes drifted away from the desk only to be pulled back by an upsurge in sound and activity.

Still sitting on the bench waiting for wheelchairs to be brought, Grandmother was attempting to push two ten dollar bills into the hands of each of the grandchildren. The grandchildren were resisting, well, the boy not so much. But Grandmother talked a mile a minute, grand daughter shook her head and was politely refusing.

All eyes fell on the family. Everyone of us knew every word that was being said even though we didn't understand a word that was being said. I glanced at the dude in the chair who was glancing at the woman on crutches. We all smiled. It was such a nice, wonderfully pleasant family scene. A scene that has been played out by grandmothers and grandchildren all over the world for centuries.

Anyone looking in to our area saw diversity. But for those few minutes, all of us there saw only commonality. For while we honour difference, it sure is wonderful, every now and then to simply wallow in the joint sharing of the human condition.

Thus began our day.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

You paint such a clear picture with your words. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.