You’ve likely witnessed a few glimpses of human sympathy peak through monotonous and systemic travel processes. The act of commercialized travel is – appropriately – a computerized, calculated, and meticulously managed one. For someone who may be a fan of a more professional, controlled, travel process, acts of randomness are often a nuisance.
The efficient, computerized, process of modern travel doesn’t make much room for acts of randomness. Such a process doesn’t often account for the interpersonal matters surrounding its consumers’ preferences.
Sometimes, a stench can emanate from the person sitting next to us due to their lack of taking a shower and doing laundry for at least a few weeks.
Other times, we find ourselves separated from the people we’re traveling with. Whether that includes friends or family members, being in close proximity with those we’re traveling with is often a desired experience to strive for amidst our travels.
As the efficient, computerized, system fails those who’ve become separated from their family or group, they begin to explore other methods of rejoining those people. These individuals begin playing a form of a sliding puzzle.
They’ll ask people around them to shift and switch seats with them or their friends. In an effort to get closer to those they want to travel with, they’ll embark on the process of making that happen any way they can.
This article hopes to entice you to help these people out in their attempts to sit with their loved ones.
Two reasons will be mentioned below for what that may be a better idea than furiously clenching onto the seat you were assigned.
A Public Display of Internal Values You Hold and Live By
Assuming you won’t get into serious trouble for switching seats, your act of doing so will communicate your values surrounding the act of travel.
By switching seats to benefit the unity of another group, you’d express that you appreciate the importance of traveling in close proximity to one’s family or friends. You’d show an understanding of what an enjoyable travel process looks like.
You’d also show appreciation to the fact that it’s sometimes nerve wracking to be separated from one’s group. You’d show an empathetic understanding of the fact that the person who finds themselves separated from their group will have a sub-par traveling experience.
Most of all, you’d introduce a sympathetic, human, aspect to the mundane travel environment around you. The people you switch seats with will be grateful. Your act of kindness will be memorable not only to them, but to yourself too.
By being willing to switch seats for others’ benefit, you show that you value sympathy over rigidity. You’d be an example of not allowing blind obedience to what it says on a ticket to control the presence of sympathetic understanding.
Your Trip Will Be Worse If You Don’t
Let’s say you reject the request to switch seats with someone who wants to be closer to their family. In doing so, you’d not only play your part in the inconvenience that others experience as they become separated from their friends and family. You’d also place unnecessary social stress on yourself.
By denying someone’s request to switch seats to be closer to their family, you’ll inevitably feel the displeasure of those whom you reject.
That feeling will be a barrier to a comfortable trip for you. Since you’d be in proximity to those who you’ve rejected, you will not feel comfortable in your travels alongside them. They will likely not act kindly toward you as neighbors.
They won’t pass the snack tray over and they won’t be happy when you ask for them to get up so you can head to the bathroom.
Even though you don’t owe them anything, they will reserve the right to not act kindly toward you for your act of rejecting a relatively innocent request. You can double down and go about your business as you would, but to say that their negativity would not be felt by you would be ignorant.
From this regard, your trip will be better if you switch seats to allow a family to sit together. Your new neighbors will feel obligated to act kindly toward you; as your deed of switching seats would be perceived to be a noble one. The passengers who watch alongside you will respect your act of doing so. They’d place themselves in your position, and would find it difficult to follow in your footsteps should that situation arise for them.
The inconvenience of having to switch seats – to perhaps a worse seat – seems to be outshined by the positive reception you’d receive in doing so.