“Mummy look! We are flying!” an innocent voice squealed in excitement.
I turned my head to see the young boy, around seven or eight years old, seated a few seats away from me. He was holding onto a teddy bear in his arms, which seemed to be his best companion.
I sneaked a glance at the closest window to have a look as well.
The buildings stood tall and proud, reaching for the sky like giants. The streets below were like ribbons, weaving through the city's bustling heart, where people scurried like ants on a mission.
The plane’s lights slowly dimmed down indicating that it was time to sleep. After a hectic day, this was just the thing I needed. Everyone began shuffling around, adjusting their seats and pillows in preparation of a peaceful, undisturbed sleep. The chatter of the passengers faded to gentle whispers and eventually silence.
Just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard a sound. An unpleasant sound. I soon discovered the source – a baby crying loudly like a hurricane of sobs and wails. Her mother was trying her best to calm the little one. Rocking her side to side. Bouncing her up and down. Singing her lullabies.
The grumbling of the passengers, the crossed arms, and angry stares all indicated that the baby had woken up all the passengers. They were not happy about it. The poor mother having realized this, was desperately trying to calm the baby.
As the atmosphere of the plane grew tense, the little boy, unbuckled his seatbelt and walked towards the mom with his teddy.
“Aunty, I can feel the pain the baby is going through. I have also been in her position, I have also felt uncomfortable and scared in new places.” The little boy spoke comfortingly. “But you know what? This is Teddy, my best friend! Once, I have Teddy in my hand, my pain goes.”
The boy kept his dearest teddy in the mother’s hands, and said “Here, this is for her. Let her play with it, I am sure she will forget her pain too.”
“Thank you! Thanks a lot!” the desperate mother expressed her gratitude.
This is humanity, I thought. To put ourselves in someone else’s place. Empathy is what makes us all humans. Today, this lesson was taught to me by a boy with wisdom years beyond his age.
That night, my sleep may have been disturbed, but an awakening took place within me.