Passengers and others behaving badly

A Chinese female passenger scalded an Air Asia flight attendant a few days back. Apparently the passenger was not happy with the airline’s in-flight service so she threw hot water at the employee somewhere in the unfriendly skies between Bangkok and Nanjing. Chinese authorities vowed to punish the woman, but at this moment, there are no details has to how that punishment will be meted out.
After reading recent material on the incident, it has been said in some circles in the flying world that Chinese tourists are known for their bad behavior. Some say that through the years, the Chinese have been known for trashing tourist sites and jumping lines in addition to abusing airline employees.  
Like a disappointed parent, China is embarrassed by these incidents and this overall so-called characterization. While it looks like China has its work cut out for them, what’s going on here? Some speculate that folks like this woman and her fellow travelers on the recent Air Asia flight are wealthy making them feel entitled to misbehave. Further, some say, those passengers do not care about paying fines.
Is engaging in uncivilized behavior becoming contagious with Chinese travelers? As of this writing, it’s a tough question to answer. Here’s hoping that China has a way of peacefully nipping this type of behavior in the bud.
While it is disconcerting to hear about this perception among the Chinese traveling public, here’s hoping that we do not see a “bad behavior uptick” among U.S. travelers over this holiday season – or any season! At this time of the year, folks are “ginned up” in many quarters. From the shopping malls to the airport concourses and aircraft cabins, the chance of tempers flaring are great. Certainly “breathing deep,” meditating, stress relief practices and “not sweating the little things” may help, but unfortunately too many people do not get “the memo.”
Why do we sweat the little things in life? Before you answer saying that you don’t "sweat the little things," methinks all of us are guilty as charged on some level. I think that we take everything a bit too seriously. Most of us wish to be at our best both mentally and physically. A great deal of us want to be at the top of our game, thus pressure ensues upon ourselves.
Another reason so many on this planet “sweat the little things” is because of our fast-paced lives. We’re trying to beat the clock to accomplish as much as possible every day. “Go, go, go” is the mantra as we race from appointment to appointment and store to store each December. Let’s face it: It is all overwhelming. These aforementioned thoughts remind me of a recent 60 Minutes segment on going to a retreat where participants ditch electronics, eat in silence and learn how to peacefully walk. If you get a chance, check that excellent report.
After thinking about the Air Asia incident, perhaps we “exported” those fast-paced ideals? I certainly hope not, but what I hope for is civility being practiced on a global scale during this holiday season, in the New Year and beyond.


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