Everyone needs to spend time thinking but the main problem these days is that there’s always a distraction. A text message, a phone call, an email, a tweet, people always react so quickly to what are essentially rude interruptions into our daily lives. They conspire to put you off getting to the bottom of the things you need to sort out andit struck me on my way to Rome that the one time you get to really focus on your life is when flying.
Let me explain. Flying can be one of the noisiest, fastest things you’ll ever do but it still offers a certain serenity. I can’t think of many moments in my life when I have felt more reflective than when on board an aircraft. I think partly it’s down to the feeling of helplessness that once the thing starts taxiing, anything could happen and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of flying one bit, in fact I probably enjoy it, but even so, you’re surrounded by tonnes of steel and litres of jet fuel, about to embark upon something that humans were simply not built to do; soar above the clouds. It shouldn’t be the calmest moment in your life, but when you’re sat there, strapped in, phone on airplane mode, and if you’re lucky enough to get a window seat, the sense of peace that can overwhelm you is staggering.
When I flew to Rome, seeing the tiny toy cars below on thin strips of snowy road made me feel glad to be alive and able to witness such beauty from up high. It makes you realise what a massive place this planet is and how incredible the human race is for building a transport infrastructure that allows us to see so much of it in relatively quick time.
Maybe all of this is a bit deep as I sit here typing this back on terra firma, but if I could, I would use regular flying as some sort of therapy to drag people away from the mundane and force them to take a long hard look at their lives. We don’t spend enough time doing that and I for one fully admit that I’m just as guilty. But maybe the world would be that little bit of a better place if people could see that there is more to life than what we see six inches in front of our eyes. It’s time to expand our horizons and see the bigger picture.