Take this book on the plane

The Good Among the Great: 19 Traits of the Most Admirable, Creative, and Joyous People by Donald Van de Mark
Here’s a testimonial for this book: It helped me handle one of those annoying airline travel scenarios with calm detachment (and even a little bit of moderate contentment).
Here’s the scene: I was about halfway through this book when I boarded a return flight that was delayed for hours for mechanical reasons, and the airline people were saying things like, “We recommend you call 1-800-THISAIRLINE to reserve a seat on tomorrow morning’s flight.” It would not have been convenient to have been delayed overnight. But also, not the complete end of the world.
While people around me were angrily using extremely foul language and acting out in ways that were rather unbecoming (it was really quite something), I made a phone call, formulated Plans B, C, and D, and then returned to my self-improvement book. Seriously, what else could I do? (Please bear in mind that I am not always so calm. I can freak out with the best of them.)
So we’ll give this book partial credit for keeping me calm. Credit also goes to my sister and her family, whom I’d just visited; they make me laugh uncontrollably, so I was all loosened up before hitting the airport. I’m thinking that helped.
This book is a great booster-shot sort of a thing. Meaning, I’ve read other books about happiness and living-a-good-life that offered more memorable facts or that made a bigger impact on me. But this book presents similar information with a new spin: dividing up Maslow’s description of self-actualized people into 19 characteristics and exploring each one.
It reinforces the general concepts that float around about how to live your best life.
It’s quite a jolly book (being jolly is one of the 19 characteristics!) and I found it to be a source of encouragement.
I believe it also made me a source of mild annoyance to the hostile man* next to me. With every new announcement from the airline people, he swore a blue streak, and by the 4th round of announcements (each one worse than the one before), I was chortling. (Jolly! Joyous! Hysterical? Naaaaaaa….)
(BTW, the flight happened that night. All that drama and swearing for naught. Seriously, people. Calm yourselves. It’s gonna be all right.)
* The dude was on vacation. He wasn’t visiting an ailing loved one; he wasn’t on an important business trip; he was on vacation. This delay was really ruining his whole vacation, and apparently, his entire life. Perspective, anyone?

2 thoughts on “Take this book on the plane

  1. I'm in the middle of an airport cluster right now, and I'm managing to stay calm. It would help to have your book, but…well, it's only nine more hours!!! calm….

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