Traveling is such a privilege and I’m regularly reminded of the magic of flying: that a huge machine can take off and stay in the air for so long is incredible. It’s so easy to take such things for granted, but flying – like GPS on your phone or fresh water – is really amazing.

On a recent business trip, there was an airline snafu and I found myself in the same clothes for 36 hours and bouncing back and forth between the airport and a nearby Airbnb where the bed and shower felt like winning the lottery. By the time I landed, there were no more flights to my final destination and a train ride was the most logical solution. Unfamiliar with the station, the process or the tracks, I met my first friend in a lovely person who didn’t just point and tell me to ‘go over there,’ but instead walked me to the kiosk and patiently showed me what to do, all the while chatting and being engaged.

Fast forward an hour later and the travel gods decided to give me an extra gift: a 2.5-hour delay that meant I wouldn’t arrive at the next city until close to midnight. I walked back to the station, asked for help and voila! Another new friend looked at the schedule, apologized for the delay and came up with a solution that was six minutes away. “Come with me!” he said, moving fast and helping me get the ticket so that I made the train with about 30 seconds to spare. As I hustled to my track, he called after not to forget to change trains. He was sincerely concerned with my well-being.

As I walked onto the train, asking for assistance seemed like a good thing to do. So, I turned to the lady sitting next to me and asked her to confirm that my ticket matched the train I was on and if there was anything I needed to know to make the transfer. She frowned, looked at her watch and asked what my destination was. When I told her, she smiled and said, “You are coming with me. I live 10 minutes from your hotel and we can share a ride so that you get there without issue.”

We spent the next hour chatting and shared a ride to my hotel that then dropped her off at her home. By this time, she knew that my luggage had not made it and offered to pick me up in the morning to get a much-needed change of clothes – which we did, finding a local consignment store that was just the trick.

As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking about the impact of friends, regardless of the depth of the relationship. I choose to believe that more people are friendly and want to help than not. I am grateful to those friends whose names I know and those who were momentary friends and helped just to be nice.

Be nice. Be a friend.

– Becky Sharpe, CEO