The voice came over the intercom, “For your safety please do not accept requests from strangers to watch their luggage…” But what do you do if someone really asks you for this favor. Rebecca and were sitting in the Chicago airport waiting for our flight to arrive when the lady next to me made the request.
“Could you watch my bag while I go the bathroom?”
I grimaced, “Well, we’re not suppose to watch other people’s luggage.”
“I know” she said, “but I really have to go and I don’t want to have lug my bag around.” Her eyes were pleading.
“Ok, I guess,” and off she went.
Rebecca and I looked at each other. I wondered out loud as to who would get in more trouble, she for leaving it me for watching. Then our imagination began to take over and wondered if she might be a terrorist. There wasn’t any profiling. She was an older Caucasian woman who had been talking with the people around her. But there was just something that just wasn’t right. Rebecca noticed the book she had been reading. It was entitled, “The Girl Who Plays With Fire.” That settled it; she was a terrorist.
Now that we had come to that conclusion the question was what do we do with the information. If we called security and were wrong we would look silly and they would ask why we watched the bag in the first place. If we were right the same question would be asked and certainly we would be placed in shackles.
As we pondered our predicament she return, said thank you, and our world was back to normal. Everyone boarded the plane, there were no explosions, and no one was embarrassed by false allegations.
It is a sad state of affairs when you can’t trust a simple request to watch a person’s luggage when they go to the bathroom. Our culture has become paranoid because of the, how be it very dangerous, attacks of others. Trust is something that is earned over a period of time and lost within seconds. I am glad I watched the bag. I am also sure that I will need to be weary of the next request. I am a trusting person. I will probably never see this woman again in my life, but I hope that this little act of trust will say something to us all about our need to be more human. I am just saying…..