« When New Gets Old | Main | The Better Claim »


christopher frawley

Simon, this is a great thought provoking piece. It reminded me of something that happened the other day when I held the door open for a mom with two kids and she said nothing. I was so tempted to say loudly "you're welcome," but I realized I was trying to change her and offer something for her to have to possibly explain to her kids. We have to be the example and at the same time not condone rudeness. It's a fine line. Yes there's comfort in doing the right thing, even when there's no reward. Thanks...

Nand Lal

For a true giver, who is truly in service of his fellow passenger, be it in a flight or in the life, the definition of "giving" is larger.

He, whose core vibrates with this larger sense of giving, lends a hand even, or especially, when the fellow passenger is not nice to him.

Giving when she is nice (or neutral) is easy. To be ready to help, to give, not superficially a bowl of cereal but deeper down having a feeling to lessen the burden of her who has hurt your feeling, takes extra effort. Rich reward, however, awaits him who has taken this extra step, for he has established a deeper harmony with one of the most essential "why" of the life.

I bet that if you had taken this path, she would have volunteered to give not only the cereal but her lunch and dinner to you if you two ever happened to be again the next-seat neighbors.

karen millen dresses

I enjoyed your article a lot. You've given me something to think about the next time I run into someone like this women you met on the plane. I try to remind myself that I don't know what they've gone through that day or week and maybe there's something wrong. Or maybe that's her personality. If so that's sad, but you handled it well. Next time I fly I'm going to yell out, "I WANT THE CEREAL!"

Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM

Awesome and so true, definitely keeping it real here. Great post! :)

Online Art School

I enjoy your blog so wanted to come check out this post. You sure bring in some interesting tips. Would never have thought to relate my blog. Sharing personal stories does make for a more interesting post and I have found even as a newbie to blogging that is how I seem to be connecting with my visitors and other members of the blogging community. Will have to try one of your suggestions about how to capture attention with interesting introduction that will draw in the reader. Great job!

vintage car restoration

I wish that would be possible. Traveling with them at your side.

mulberry bags factory

I'm interested in such offer,The sound quality in these podcasts is really poor. I feel bad about complaining about something that is free, but I think it is important.

elliptical reviews

No offense, but if there's a facebook like button, it'll be much easier for me to share.

bieber supra

Christmas is probably the most special day of the year for children. One thing that makes it special is the popular tradition of Santa Claus.

security system

At least they have put a faint "advertisement" in the bottom-right, but the point of the design is to mislead the user into thinking.

Womens Sandals

Morality is the herd instinct in the individual. (German Philosopher)

Ed Yaw

Thanks for your great story Simon,
If only more folks would live with that giving mindset the world would be such a nicer place.

Cheap air jordan shoes

love the fact that you wrote this as you sat next to her.
Sometimes the smartest response is not to let someone like that ruin your day. Just continue to do what you are doing and let others constantly whinge and whine about how they rank in life's hierarchy.

Red Bull Hats

I certain liked this article. Kind regards.


Chuckle, chuckle!

I sat next to the male equivalent of your 'lady' (being female doesn't necessarily equate to being a lady, so I have to wonder why you've chosen to label her as such???) on the way back to Oz from the UK.

It was a very long flight and I too was totally (and very rudely) ignored until we were two hours out of Sydney when he found his voice, thanks to a large Scotch on the rocks.

It was a very loud voice that proclaimed his thoroughly offensive point of view re life generally and especially all those of us that share this planet with him.

I was so embarrassed! The shoe was now firmly placed on the other foot and I kept making "I don't know this person and don't know what he's talking about" faces at all that stood up and looked back to see what all the noise was about. Passing flight attendants cast pitying glances my way as I made every (useless) attempt to bring the 'conversation' to an end.

Man, was I pleased he'd ignored me for the previous 23 hours! I was up and out of the plane faster than I'd ever managed before.

Evelien Snel

Thank you for this wonderful column. I gave this URL to a friend of mine, who was suffering from rudeness of other people. In such situations it is always my role to try to calm him down, to make him respond in a relaxed way, even when I cannot deny he is being treated unfairly.

Your post may help him with this.

Greetings from The Netherlands.

David Lapin

Beautiful to read. Isn't giving, or generosity, the fuel of all economic activity. At the end of the day we strive to add value to customers and create value for shareholders. We try to hold on to talent by giving them in one way or another more than our competitors do.

David Lapin
Author: Lead by Greatness

Lily Newman

Hi Simon

My husband is a global traveller who works with leadership teams. He is naturally an introvert (an INTJ in Myers Briggs terms)doing an extrovert's job. I can't tell you how many times he's prayed for the journey home from airports: that he'll get an exit row seat on the plane(to save on the deep vein thrombosis - he's 6ft 5"); that he won't be interrupted by sniffers; sat on by the obese; spat on by people who eat like washing machines and talked at non-stop. Unlike the extroverts that he works with, he is not solar powered (needing to draw on the energy of others to be able to fully function), he is battery powered and needs to be able to re-charge internally. On so many occassions he has had to select his mood and, inspite of his tiredness, has actually found himself enjoying conversations and journeys that he initially feared would drain him.

Introversion or stress and tiredness (which we all face on the global travel circuit) are never an excuse for selfishness and downright rudeness. We can all choose our attitude, even if we can't choose our seatmates. If you choose to enjoy your 'journey' and make the most of it, 9 times out of 10 it will be a good one.

(loved the 'Finding the Why' by the way - have sent it on to loads of clients and friends). Keep up the great work.

gilly weinstein

Thanksfor sharing this insightful, thoughtful, heart-full read on the fabric of everyday human interaction. You would enjoy "Leadership & Self-Deception"(by the Arbinger Insitute) which, through a contemporary parable, zooms in on how you can quite simply "switch on" this mind-set. Just as you said. The technique showcased in the book (that begs for editing, even though t'is a very slim volume, but that's another story) explains how to get oneself out the box. Meethinks there are elements in there that will resonate for you.

ON A SEPARATE NOTE, really, really enjoy your postings, TEDx talks, thoughts. Great soul nourishment. Fab stuff.

marien van raan

Great story,

And a good test for your mercy and patience. This woman shows that she really needs help. And she was waiting for you to show up, to show that you have a mindset of giving, to contradict her behaviour and attitude.

Giving is not always visible, it's an attitude from the heart.
BTW i love the item why.

marien from the netherlands

Mark McGuigan

As I read I immediately think of two things. Firstly that the women is like her from the devil wears Prada and wouldn't like to appear weak by allowing you to offer her the cereal. And secondly I enjoy it when these situations arise as it tests us. We should cherish these moments and thank the person for the challenge.


Hi,Simon many of your readers just share your troubled feeling caused by your seatmate.

In a flight, the mind set of your fellow passenger depends on so many issues. As cloudyblue has pointed above, this one of your unpleasant seatmate must have been emotionally upset.

When women feel insecure in any given situation, they might behave in a way to keep men away from them. It is so very common in our place. As long as it doesn't matter to you whether it is omelet or cereal , let the person who is specific take whatever she wants. You are encountering a stranger whose back ground, culture mindset etc., you are not aware of.

The most comfortable mind set as you have concluded, never expect anything for what you give. If what you receive in return is good, then rejoice . If what you receive is hostility ignore and doubly ignore. Never catch up an impression that you are victimized. The giving should only build your inner strength and make you feel superior. If your rational mind is not coming to your help in this direction, just take ten slow deep breathe and you will get a different perspective.

The truth of “Give, thy shall be given” remains the same and eternal.


sorry to say, there's way to many people like this. also find that we're a bit ruder today, with our cell phones etc.

a classic one is how people change when they step into their cars.


Simon, I was recently introduced to your blog through a friend and this was the first post I read. And I must say, I enjoyed your upbeat perspective.

Your blog has caused me to ask a question of myself and reflect: am I really a giver? Or am I a "victimized" giver where I think I'm doing all this genuine sacrificing and investing in others but really, I'm not? That will be my food for thought for today. :)

Gerda Grimshaw

People like her are "shallow", short sighted, and have no core to attach values to. The proverbial hole in the heart. Entitlement is their birthright. Accountability is manipulated into "judgment" for the sake of not taking responsibility. The giving-mindset-person would love them enough to point that out to them mixed with plenty of Grace. (specially when you don't have to run into them on a daily basis)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Latest Tweets

Get The Book
By clicking "Post" / commenting on this blog, you agree to abide by the Terms of Service that govern the use of this website.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner