I’ve been doing a fair amount of airline travel throughout the holidays. Although I love air travel, there are many potential hassles associated with getting from point A to point B. Today, I’m choosing to focus on the dreaded middle seat.
The 737 is one of the most popular aircraft designs with the economy cabin having 3 seats on either side of the aisle. If you set up a Customer Profile online for your preferred airline, most questionnaires will ask for your seating preference, offering the choice of “window” or “aisle”. I’ve yet to come across a profile that offers the option of “the middle seat”.
For the typical airline passenger, this makes sense. Most of us value our personal space and although the aisle and window seats are not more spacious necessarily, there is something psychologically comforting about not being sandwiched between two strangers for 3 hours.
However, like most things in life, this depends on context and perspective.
Consider this: You’re rushing to fly home on a Friday afternoon to be back in time for your 2nd Grader’s debut as Turkey #4 in the annual Thanksgiving Day play. Or, it’s the last flight out for the night and the only one that will allow you to make that important client meeting the next morning.
In these situations, you might be happy to fly the jumpseat just to secure a spot on the flight (if you need a better visual, picture the Mom begging for a seat at the airport in the movie “Home Alone”). The middle seat suddenly transforms into a thing of beauty.
So, what’s the point of this? Just that, life is all about perspective. Any situation can look better or worse depending on the context and our view of the circumstances.
While we don’t always have control over the context, we DO have the freedom to select our attitude toward the circumstances. So next time you find yourself in the middle seat, why not change your perspective, sit back, and enjoy the journey. THAT choice is always yours.