Yesterday we had a horrible moment vis a vis selfishness of others flying first class from Vancouver to Miami, when Nina Varsavsky myself and Mia were given seats in different rows and everyone on the American Airlines flight refused to change seats with us so a 2 year-old would not fly alone. Moreover, a man became violent over this and Nina ended up crying which made me feel awful. Nina attributed the selfishness to the type of people who fly in first class, she felt they were more arrogant and difficult than the rest and said she wanted to go coach next time. She said it was the third flight in which this happened to her. We also thought it was crazy for airlines to give individual seats in different rows to a 2 year old. The experience was very sad, it was as if everyone on that plane had one thing to say to us: we could not care less what happens to your children.
Now today in the park the opposite happened. We had another difficult moment with kids, potentially much worse, but as a result we reconciled with the world of strangers and kids.
This morning, Nina, Mia, David and I rode our bikes from the Continuum to Flamingo Park in Miami Beach. Once there Nina was feeding David a tangerine when totally out of the blue, he choked. I was nearby and when I realized what was going on, I was reminded of similar situations I had been through: both my second daughter and my nephew had choked and once I had saved the life of a stranger who choked a a restaurant. So I immediately started a mini Heimlich Maneuver adapted for a 1 year-old. At the beginning it did not go well and Nina started panicking. But what happened next was amazing. It was like the whole park organized to save David, an American parent rushed to get help from a nearby fire station, and a whole Italian family took care of Mia and did it so well that Mia never realized what was going on. Finally David started crying, a sign that made us feel that he was breathing again, sort of like his first cry that only happen a year and a week ago at the Baptist Hospital also here in Miami. It took him a while to recover, he was scared, we were scared, everyone around had been scared. But he was fine.
Once I had an idea about commercial flying that instead of people being randomly allocated on flights, it involved seating people according to affinities on planes. And I said that families with kids should seat together. I still stand by this idea. Families with kids are in a way a network of common minded people all devoted to a common goal, the healthy upbringing of their children. And we help each other. I don’t know what would have happened if David had choked while flying on American Airlines but the reaction would not have been the one at the park. Families with kids understand each other. Now the paradox is that everyone was a kid, at some point, and I find it sad that so many adults lose their empathy for children after they grow up. This is reflected in society, I don’t know if you know this but in Western democracies, the highest concentration of poverty by age is among children. Children are discriminated against most likely because their voice is not heard in democracies as they don’t vote and their parents don’t carry a custodian vote for them. But get families together and they do build a society that is extremely friendly to children. Flamingo Park was to me, how the world should be. I want to thank all the strangers who helped us in that park today. David is fine.
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