“The Lion King” and “Aladdin” get the best out of a LaGuardia situation
Travel delays are never fun, but once in a while they are bound to happen. You can’t wait for the weather to cooperate every time you fly, and you should better fix those mechanical issues before buckling up.
I learned to breathe deeply, to relax, to remind myself that this is not the end of the world, and then to find a way to appreciate the extra time I spent at the airport. Reading always works for me, just like spending time chatting with girlfriends or cleaning my inbox if everything else fails.
But recently, Broadway cast members of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” took their unexpected airport downtime to a whole new level. During their six-hour delay at New York’s LaGuardia airport, they had a showdown! It was truly an extraordinary event, captured on someone’s phone and uploaded to YouTube
What a choice these cast members made! Instead of regretting the hot and crowded conditions at the airport, instead of complaining endlessly about what the delay meant for their plans, or how bored they were, or whatever else, they turned to what they could value at the time, they started singing. First one, then another, then the entire cast of “The Lion King” came together to sing songs from their award-winning show. Whereupon the cast of “Aladdin” responded with their songs, including an amazing freestyle rap by James Inglehart, who plays the Genie on the best seats Aladdin broadway.
The cast members of these shows not only countered the potentially adverse effects of negativity on their well-being, but they elevated everyone who was close to hearing at that airport. You can see the smiles on the faces of other passengers when their mood changed from “Oy ve” to “Hurray”! Because they were all in the same weather lag boat; A conscious and deliberate approach was required to change from not horrible to better thoughts and feelings. Something that the cast members easily accomplished.
Compare this to the behavior I witnessed a few weeks earlier at another airport. My flight was delayed by a mechanical problem for three hours and then it was completely canceled. We were transferred to a different flight, which meant another delay of approximately two hours. OK, so is life. Finally, we were in line to board our designated plane, just waiting for the previous passengers to get off the plane, and the few minutes necessary for the cleaning crew to do their thing.
A man who was at the front of our line was strongly complaining to the ground attendant in charge of taking our boarding passes about how long it took for the previous passengers to disembark. How he had had it with all this waiting, and what a horrible airline it was, and what a horrible service. There was more of course. I stood there, my mouth hanging open. Here the airline kept us safe (on a plane not fit to fly), found us seats on another flight, we were about to board, and the man was first in line. It was probably one of the best examples of total disrespect I’ve seen. At least the man could have valued his position at the front of the line, and appreciated the fact that he only had another ten minutes, at most, to wait before reaching his seat.
I don’t even want to know what that man’s heart condition is like. What I do know is that those Broadway cast members, with their ability to shift their focus to what they could appreciate, what they could do, sing! Instead of what they couldn’t do (board a plane to the right then) they had their hearts not only in the right place for the joy they brought to themselves and everyone else at that airport, but also the best place to your long-term health and vitality.