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                                           A Flight to Nowhere

Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. Here is a sign of the times: an airport is offering passengers who really miss air travel a trip to nowhere.

The Songshan airport in Taipei made the offer earlier this month receiving about seven thousand applications. Sixty people were chosen for the half-day "trips" which will continue over the next couple of weeks. 

Those selected for the phony flights receive boarding passes & go through the typical security process as if they are traveling internationally. They gather at the gate, then board an Airbus A330 of Taiwan's largest carrier. However, the plane goes nowhere. After a while, the lucky passengers return to the same gate they left. 

In a similar vein, Walmart is turning 160 of its parking lots into drive-in movie theatre to offer contactless film premieres. Besides movies, the family-friendly nights will feature special appearances from filmmakers & celebrities. 

Customers will order concessions online for curb side pickup or delivery to their vehicles. The movies will begin next month & run until October. 

These are just two examples of the many ways people are adjusting to the worldwide pandemic. From remote offices to online shopping to sports without fans, many are doing their best to make the best of these unprecedented days. 

Here is another way to respond.

Dr. Barbara Lee Fredrickson is a psychology professor & head of the Positive Emotions & Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina. She & her team did a survey to ask people about their daily activities & correlate them with the degree to which they experienced negative or positive emotions. 

Unsurprisingly, they found people who spent time passively scrolling social media or interacting with people only through chat or text were most likely to report negative emotions. By contrast, these activities were more likely to be associated with positive emotions:

  • Exercise
  • Self-care (such as participating in hobbies or relaxing)
  • Engaging in spiritual activities (including prayer or meditation)
  • Interacting with other people, especially via video or face-to-face interactions
  • Going out of their way to help other people.
In light of her team results, Dr. Fredrickson encourages us to change our response to others during the pandemic from "social distancing" to "physical distancing & social solidarity."   [1]

As the airport in Taiwan & drive-in movies on Walmart parking lots demonstrate, we are more creative & proactive when we work together than when we work alone. As Dr. Fredrickson's research shows, we are happier & more resilient when we face the pandemic & other challenges with others in community. 

Here is my question for you this week dear readers:

In whom are you confiding your needs & fears? With whom are you practicing "social solidarity"?  Now let us ask it the other way: Who is depending on you? For whom are you serving? Whose needs are you meeting? Whose service are you supporting? 

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes, I look forward to connecting with you again soon.
[1] Dr. Jim Denison is CVO of Denison Forum. Through the Daily Article & podcast, which globally reaching over 208,000 subscribers in 203 countries, Dr Denison guides readers to discern news of today.


Kenn Butler
Copyright © 2020 Paradise Brokers, All rights reserved.

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