On Airports and Equity

Have you ever traveled by plane?  My most recent adventure sent me to Brooklyn to visit my good friend, Ashley.  While I was going through the motions of getting everything together to make my flight, I took a moment to sit, breathe, and reflect.  Instantly, the world transformed before my eyes.  I had a sense of clarity that was powerful.  I would like to share what that clarity brought me.

My purpose in relaying this information is to inform, educate, and illuminate.  What I would like to get out of this exchange is for you to be motivated to action.  After all, knowledge without action is not generative.  The process by which this will take place is through introspection, mindfulness, and observation.

One of the first things I noticed was that everything is connected.  Airports are circular, you can travel an infinite distance within an airport by simply walking around.  After further examination, I observed that the airport was specifically designed to function in this way. This observation brought about a plethora of ideas and helped me to focus on making more nonjudgmental observations.

I noticed that everything was labeled.  I know that the labels existed for at least 2 reasons 1) to discourage confusion and 2) for my convenience.  Lines and special access revealed themselves to me.  Signs telling me what to read, what to eat, and how to enjoy my airport experience.  In many ways, I was grateful for the signs and labels because they prevented me from getting lost.  However, I started to feel influenced by the signs.

I observed that everything was in order.  Things were going just the way they were supposed to.  People with their belongings on conveyor belts flitting about from this task to the next.  Uniformed individuals directing traffic and breaking up bottlenecks.  Then, I proceeded to freak the fuck out.

The airport is a microcosm of society; the airport is a critical analysis of the world.

There is intention in the things you can hear when you stop and listen.  There is vision in the things you see when you open your eyes.  There is authority in speaking up when you have a voice.

This trip to Brooklyn turned into more than what I expected.  I learned about myself, my community, and the world by getting on a plane.  What will you learn on your next trip?

Imagine your airport experience if we introduced a little equity into the equation.  Equity equals purpose raised to the degree of justice.  What could the world look like?  What could your experience be like there?

Things need to change.  I’m glad I flew Delta.



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