There I am, sitting in a brightly lit airplane cabin before take-off, reading my book as I wait for all the passengers to board and settle down and for the crew to prep for take-off.
As I sit there reading, a flight attendant comes up and turns the overhead light on for me even though I did not ask for it and I don’t need it yet.
All-in-all, the whole thing only takes but a few seconds, and yet this is my favourite part of the flight.
There is something incredibly comforting in the act — similar to how it felt when your parents tucked you in as a child. Each and every time, it gives me a flashback to being a child and a parent providing extra light to prevent eye-strain (usually accompanied with nagging if said parent was my mother).
The flight attendants are not required by law to turn it on; it is not something they have to do if they don’t feel like it. And yet many do. It is an act of pure, simple consideration for another human being.
Nowadays, I am too old for my parents to coddle me so. In fact, more often than not, I am the one turning the lights on for them instead of the other way around (longer arms).
In my flight yesterday — for the first time in a long time — no flight attendant came to turn my overhead light on before the pilot turned down the cabin lights for take-off. I was plunged into the cold darkness feeling entire bereft without my stolen moment of childlike serenity.
If you are a flight attendant, please make sure your passengers’ overhead lights are on if they are reading… who knows? One of them might be a twenty-something girl who is just trying to grab a small slice of times past.