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Your Unfolding Path
November 2001

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Carol's Current Column

by Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.

Carol 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 condensed form.

The Message

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 Gander."

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 aircraft.

Purposeful Participation

"Every single need was met for those unfortunate travelers," said the flight attendant, "Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. After all that, they

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. Absolutely incredible."

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.

Following Intuition

"And then a strange thing happened. One of our business-class passengers

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 well.

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.


Click Here to Learn More About Carol Adrienne


Read Carol's Past Columns

October 2001

September 2001

August 2001

July 2001

June 2001

May 2001

April 2001

March 2001

February 2001

January 2001

December 2000

November 2000

October 2000

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January 2000


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