Everyone started clapping and crying in relief as the pilot landed the plane safely to the ground. No one had expected this emergency landing, not the pilot, and not the air traffic control tower either.
Everyone was relieved, people around me were hugging and crying from the joy that their lives weren’t taken away from them. I was relieved too, no doubt about that. I hadn’t been planning to die this early in my life anyways! Not at the time when my daughter was going to join college real soon, or when my son is going through puberty and needs someone to be there for support.
But I was more confused than relieved. This old fellow beside me hadn’t taken the smile off his face since the plane started drifting towards death. Even then, I didn’t see the relief on his face like all the other passengers and cabin crew. He was just sitting there happily, being there, and smiling as he saw the people around him.
Does he have a mental problem? I haven’t heard of a dysfunction that makes you smile in disasters. I had to know the secret of this man. I got angry when I can’t find the TV remote control for God’s sake!
“Excuse me, sir?”
He looked at me and nodded, “Yes?”
“I have to ask you, sir, how did you do it?”
A grandpa’s grin spread on his face, “Do what, son?”
“You were smiling!” I said, “People were screaming and crying and you were..”
He was laughing now.
I couldn’t help but smile, “I really wanna know,” I said.
He stood up, and I instantly stood up with him, knowing that I was sitting in his only way out. He walked to the aisle and reached out for his bag in the overhead bin. Then he slowly and confidently took out a folded piece of paper and handed it to me with a smile before he walked away without uttering another word.
I was even more confused now. I looked closely at the piece of paper, sat down, opened it and started reading. It was a poem, handwritten, with no name on it.
Have you ever asked yourself what you’re doing with this life?Is the purpose to ace exams, have a good job and a wife?Or is it much more than that? Let me tell you, from my point of view,Something I learned the hard way, and I’ll easily pass it to you,No one knows when he’ll end, no one will know, no one ever knew,So you’ll have to pretend it’s in two days, tomorrow, or in the next hour,You have to have confidence, and never stop your life or cut off your power,Don’t grieve on what’s in the past, don’t cry on what you think is sour,Your life is in your hands, you can either go forward or back,The choice is completely yours, you don’t need a life hack,There will come a time when your life will seem very black,Like you’re trapped in a dark room, so you have to search for that crack,That will bring you in light, you’ll always find one,No matter what happens, after the dark dawn comes the sun,Face the challenges that come in your way, don’t run,Your time is limited, so if you live it the right way,You will know why I smiled, you’ll understand what I say.
“Sir. Sir!” Said the old overweight woman as she shook my shoulder, “I need to use the toilet, could you please..?”
I stared at her, not knowing what just happened. And then I saw it, just behind her shoulders, outside the cabin window, the beautiful scenery that I got on this plane to reach. We were flying just above our destination, “My family!” I thought, “I’m going to see them after all!”
That was when I realized, there was no old man, there was no sandstorm, there was only a valuable lesson that I learned from my dream, from myself.