When all is going well in life, it’s relatively easy to give kindness to humankind. But when life’s inevitable challenges are thrown at us, how quick are we to focus inward on ourselves?
Jimmy Spagnolo is among the kindest of the kind. Known for his energetic personality and contagious smile, you would never guess what he has been through in his life. When he was only four months old, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Throughout the years, he has had to endure various treatments. As of June, his tumor is gone! However, the doctors continue to monitor with frequent scans.
We had the opportunity to meet Jimmy on a recent Southwest Airlines flight. He skipped up to some of our Pilots at the Tampa airport and said, “Hey guys! Are you flying this plane today?” in such a matter of fact tone, as if they were already best friends.
They smiled and said, “Well, yes we are, young man. Have you ever been on a plane before?” Jimmy then dove immediately into about 15 questions for them such as: How do engines work? How do you fly the plane? Where do you sit?
These Pilots happily took the time to answer each of Jimmy’s questions. How neat for a first-grader to take such an interest in these Pilots’ lives and livelihood. Our Pilots gave him a tour of the cockpit and showed him what they do. You could see his mind spinning with questions, curiosity and happiness! What a priceless memory they gave him!
It doesn’t stop there. On the way to his seat, Jimmy introduced himself to about 20 different Passengers. He started conversations and asked people where they were going. This is exactly who Jimmy is- curious, caring, loving, and genuinely kind.
Once seated, our Flight Attendants went above and beyond to make Jimmy feel special. Jimmy offered his services at 35,000 feet by helping pass out peanuts and pretzels. It’s safe to say that Jimmy made a positive impact on many people that day. In the end, Jimmy, too, was moved with each of his interactions with the Crew and Passengers.
At the end of the flight, he was surprised to hear a roar of applause coming from the Passengers on the plane. He popped his head into the aisle and people were thanking him and clapping for him! “Wow! Thanks guys for clapping for me!” He then turned to his mom, “Mom! They all clapped for me. They didn’t have to do that! That wassonice of them.”
No matter what we are going through in life, it can become our quest to be kind to others! You never know what people might be going through. Since this week is national Be Kind to Humankind Week, let’s all take the challenge to be a little bit more like Jimmy by showing kindness to all we meet!