There was a huge debate online this week. Judge’s ability to overrule the FDA? Continuing support for Ukraine? Another mass shooting? Dominion and Fox defamation lawsuit? No, it was none of those important matters. It was a debate over who should clean up a mess made by children on an airplane.
Major league baseball player, Anthony Bass, started this debate when he tweeted that a flight attendant made his pregnant wife clean up a popcorn mess made by their two children, who are ages 5 and 2. His wife was travelling alone with the two kids and is 22 weeks pregnant. His tweet says that the flight attendant “made” her clean up the mess, but I suspect that she either politely or impolitely asked that she clean up the mess.
The opinions on the topic were mixed. Many stated that it was ridiculous for the flight attendant to ask a pregnant woman to clean up while many others stated that it is a parent’s responsibility to clean up after their kids. One even blamed Anthony stating that with the money he earns, he should have hired a nanny to accompany her on the flight. I understand the views of both camps. Travelling alone with young children is challenging and, speaking from personal experience, often that parent is simply trying to survive the flight. However, I also sympathize with the flight attendants who are desperately trying to clean up the plane to get ready for the next flight.
If everyone could have put emotions and judgments aside, I think that the issue could have been avoided if everyone treated each other with respect and empathy. The flight attendant could have helped clean up and the mom could have asked her 5-year-old or other passengers to lend a hand. I’m sure that there were other passengers watching this scene unfold and apparently, no one else offered to help the pregnant mom. If you can step into someone else’s shoes, a lot of frustration and anger can be avoided.
Most of all, I can’t believe that I even took the time to think about this story given all the much more serious issues that are facing us. Yet, I must confess, thinking about this debate rather than those more serious matters was a refreshing distraction.
Take care and stay safe.
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
Rogues brings together a dozen of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. As Keefe says in his preface “They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.” Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.