Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
Kindness in Action
Current events are awakening a wide range of responses in
each of us. Some of us may be shutting out the world, while
others are taking in every development. It’s easy to feel
helpless and fearful in uncertain times when we forget our
spiritual roots. How can we to regain peace of mind, support
those in dire straits, erase violence, and contribute to the
world in a positive way? One act of kindness will do this.
When world situations seem overwhelming, take a deep breath
and go back to basics. Reconnect with what you know to be
good. Remember that we always have the opportunity to treat
others as we ourselves would wish to be treated.
When I received a note from the editor of this column
asking if I would contribute a piece on kindness, a
synchronicity happened. A story on kindness appeared in the
very next email on my screen. It was written by a flight
attendant on Delta flight 15 following the September 11
events. I deeply thank this anonymous crew member for sharing
the story, and would like to pass it along in a slightly
The crew member wrote that their flight was about five
hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic, when
they received the message to land ASAP at the nearest airport.
This turned out to be Gander, four hundred miles away on the
island off Newfoundland. A quick request was made to the
Canadian traffic controller and a right
turn, directly to Gander, was approved immediately. A few
minutes later the crew found out that airplanes had been
hijacked and were being flown into buildings all over the US.
The flight attendant said, "We decided to make an
announcement and LIE to the passengers for the time being. We
told them that an instrument problem had arisen on the
airplane and that we needed to land at Gander, to have it
checked. We promised to give more information after landing in
All In This Together
About forty minutes after the start of the episode, they
landed at the Canadian airport. Twenty other airplanes from
all over the world were already on the ground. After parking
on the ramp the captain explained the little bit of
information he knew about the situation in the US. There were
loud gasps and stares of disbelief. No one was allowed to get
off the aircraft, and no one on the ground was allowed to come
near the aircraft. In the next hour or so all the airways over
the North Atlantic were vacated and Gander ended up with
fifty-three airplanes from all over the world, twenty-seven of
which were from the United States. As the hours dragged on,
passengers, bewildered and emotionally exhausted, stayed calm
as crew members kept reminding them to look around to see that
they were not the only ones in this predicament. They were
told that the Canadian Government was in charge, and aircraft
would deplane passengers in turn—which turned out to be the
next day for Delta 15. Gander officials promised medical
attention if needed; medicine, water, and lavatory servicing.
"We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her
pregnancy," said the crew member, "We took REALLY
good care of her." About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th
a convoy of school buses showed up and the passengers were
taken to the terminal for "processing." Crew and
passengers were taken to separate locations and were told to
relax and wait for a call to go back to the airport, but not
to expect that call for awhile. They soon discovered the full
scope of the events.
The town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people, and
the local Red Cross had to process about 10,500 passengers
from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander.
"What the passengers told us was so uplifting and
incredible," said the flight attendant. We found out that
Gander and the surrounding small communities, within a
seventy-five kilometer radius, closed all the high schools,
meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places.
They converted all these facilities to a mass lodging area.
Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and
pillows set up. ALL the high school students HAD to volunteer,
taking care of the ‘guests.’"
Being Present With What Is
The 218 passengers from Delta 15 were put up in a high
school in Lewisporte, about forty-five kilometers from Gander.
Arrangements were made for women who wanted to be lodged with
other women. Families were kept together. All the elderly
passengers were taken to private homes. The pregnant young
woman was put up in a
private home across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care
facility. Doctors and nurses stayed with the crowd for the
duration. Once a day, phone calls and emails to the US and
Europe were available for everyone. During the days, the
passengers were given a choice of "excursion" trips.
Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors.
Some went to see the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open
to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all
the residents and brought to the school for those who elected
to stay put. Others were driven to the eatery of their choice
and fed. They were given tokens to go to the local laundromat
to wash their clothes, since their luggage was still on the
"Every single need was met for those unfortunate
travelers," said the flight attendant, "Passengers
were crying while telling us these stories. After all that,
were delivered to the airport right on time and without a
single person missing or late. All because the local Red Cross
had all the information about the goings on back at Gander and
knew which group needed to leave for the airport at what time.
When passengers came on board, it was almost like they had
been on a cruise. Everybody knew everybody else by his or her
name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing
each other with who had had the better time. "It was mind
boggling," the flight attendant said. "Our flight
back to Atlanta looked like a party flight. We [the crew
members] simply stayed out of their way. The passengers had
totally bonded and they were calling each other by their first
names, exchanging phone numbers,
addresses, and email addresses.
"And then a strange thing happened. One of our
approached me and asked if he could speak over the public
address system to his fellow
passengers. We never, never, allow that. But something told
me to get out of his way. I said ‘of course.’ The
gentleman picked up the public address microphone and reminded
everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few
days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at
the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would
like to do something in return for the good folks of the town
of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a trust fund
under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of
the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school
students of Lewisporte, to help them go to college. He
asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers.
"When the list of pledges got back to us with the
amounts, names, phone
numbers and addresses, it totaled $14,500, or about $20,000
in Canadian dollars. The gentleman who started all this turned
out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the
donations and to start the administrative work on the
scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal
Delta’s corporate headquarters and ask them to donate as
The Namaste* Principle or The Golden Rule
"Why all of this? Just because some people in far-away
places were kind to some strangers, who happened to literally
drop in among them."
How many acts of kindness happened among all the
people in this story?
Do what you can whenever you can with whatever you have.
Don’t wait until there is a crisis.
* Offering someone the Hindu greeting, Namaste, means
The God in Me acknowldges the God in You.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D., is an
internationally-known workshop facilitator and author whose
books have been translated into over fifteen languages. Her
books include The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place
in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon
Sense; Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life, and The
Numerology Kit. She also co-authored with James Redfield, The
Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide and The Tenth
Insight: Holding the Vision--An Experiential Guide.
Here to Learn More About Carol Adrienne
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