When I checked in at Dubai airport today, I smiled with gratitude at how smooth, comfortable and easy the whole process was. Check-in took less than three minutes, with very polite and courteous staff. The hi-tech, automated, stress-free departure process was like a breeze…in the midst of all this technology, I felt like a superstar.
I recalled my first ever flight from Kenya to London in 1973, when I had to go through the painful ordeal of standing in the heat for hours at Nairobi airport, for a comatose, manual check-in process, with everything being handwritten. To make matters worse, I had to open my suitcase at the weigh-scale and spread out my belongings on the dirty floor, to scrounge for ways to relocate my two extra kilos of excess baggage. The charge rates per kilo were absolutely punitive. The over-worked airline staff were also terribly uncooperative, venting their frustrations on passengers by being unduly strict. I recall being totally flustered by the experience. I am glad to say that Nairobi airport today is one of Africa’s best, and it is gratifying to see how beautifully things have changed over the years. Despite my frustrations that day in 1973, I felt like a superstar, gratefully celebrating the blessing of being able to travel to the UK. It was a unique privilege.
Some of us look back at our lives, and frown upon the memories of when life was a great deal more difficult compared to today. However, we must not forget that even in the midst of those challenging times, each one of us, regardless of circumstance, was more privileged than others, in some way, shape or form. We had every reason to be grateful. Today, technology has eased our lives and the world offers infinitely more opportunities, options and comforts, once again giving us every reason to be thankful. We can all lament about the things in our lives that we are not happy about, but cannot deny the fact, that there are people in the world with considerably less, who would very happily swop places with us in a heartbeat.
My dear friends, we are flowing in a continuous river of privilege every moment, with the past constantly yielding to the present with each ripple. How humbling and gratifying it is to recognize that we all enjoy the blessing of being superstars every moment…