I (Allan Cohen) approached the desk anxiously and handed the tickets to the reservation agent.
We need to change our airline tickets at the last minute, and they were clearly marked “non changeable/non-refundable.”
While waiting in line, I had considered various excuses, but decided to just go with the truth.
“We would like to delay our return several days,” I explained. ” My friends needs to stop in Los Angeles, and I need to stay here in San Francisco.”
The agent studied the tickets and went into computer record. After few moments, he told us, the record says that these tickets cannot be changed.” My heart tightened.
“It says here that if you want to make these changes, it will cost you an extra $900.” Whoa
Then he looked at me and smiled. “But I am not a very good reader I don’t see why you should have to pay all of that.”
He issued me new ticket with my desired date and gave my partner a free ticket to Los Angeles. “Have a nice flight
Sitting on the plane tears welled in my eyes. That man didn’t have to be so kind. He could have quoted chapter and verse and enforced extra penalty. But he didn’t.
I began to consider the situations in which I might give someone a similar gift by reducing my reading skills or overlooking what rules said in favour of mercy and forgiveness.
De-briefing of this story
Take few moments to consider your reading skills. Whose day of life could you brighten by letting go of punishing laws and extending a little extra kindness?
As a reading skills trainer, this was a great realisation for me. I will make sure to follow it whenever possible.
From the book – 365 recipes that will make you think positive by Alan Cohen