vendredi 2 septembre 2011

Philosophy of the man in seat 4 D LH 747-400

Philosophy of the man in Seat 4 D
This year, for unknown reasons, I had been assigned to seat 4 D on Lufthansa long haul flights, usually to Asia.
It is a seat by itself, so you are not forced to have a conversation and the flight attendants would find hard to ignore you!
While I was putting the collage of this flight on seat 4 D on LH 754 from Frankfurt to Bangalore, this thought occurred to me.
What you have is not as important as how well you use what little you have.
My peripatetic life: Havana Miami Los Indios Far East, ever since my brother Eliyahu and I went to the Myanmar/Cambodia/Vietnam complex and since 2008 a healthy dose of Malaysia.
Living in a western society where such wanderings are looked upon as aimless waste of time, I look at the alternatives.
As Mr Altschuler in Havana told me, there are two types of people, one who want things for themselves and the other who want things for others. Of course for those in Category 1, my peripatetic life would be abhorrent, objectionable and inconceivable. But those who understand Lifestyle category 2, my life does not look chaotic at all, but a certain sense of order of spirit and fulfillment of senses, the foremost being the relief of pain and sufferings of other people, usually poor in rich countries or poor in poorer countries.
The satisfaction is enormous, fulfillment immense when I am involved in assisting others cope with their lives, either emotionally or physically. After all, I am a well-qualified Endocrinologist and a practicing Medical Anthropologist!
A fringe benefit of this wandering has been the desire, ability and stamina for International travel. How to make these long haul flights enjoyable? There is a method to this madness… On my previous visit to KL, I was offered a seat on Japan Airlines from Bangkok to Narita and then on to London. For me, this would be preferable even though it adds another six hours, but isn’t it worth it, the excellent Japanese food on board and the Japanese ambience of the flight? Because I belong to the Frequent Flier Programme of Star Alliance group of Airlines, lately I have been able to use Japan Airlines and Lufthansa and Swiss Air. The last two trans Atlantic flights have been on Airbus 380, one belonging to Air France (another airline I am loyal to) and the recent one on Lufthansa.
Well my hard working American colleagues may have neither the desire nor the ability despite having more money, please don't condemn me for using the best possible way what little I have!
I have become reasonably knowledgeable about international air travel and how to get the best out of the various routes.
So, while sitting on seat 4 D on Lufthansa flight on an ageing 747-400, I thought to myself:
It does not matter what you have, how much you have, what matters is how well you use it, always keeping in mind that the central theme of life is not to help yourself, but to help others!