How about some good news for a change? One man rose to the occasion when presented with a unique note from the seven-year-old seatmate next to him.
Little Landon Bjornson had to travel from Las Vegas to Portland to visit his father. His mother sent him alone. Landon has autism and expressed some fear over traveling alone…he was only seven after all.
Landon’s mother Alexa sent a note with Landon, instructing him to give to his seatmate. It explained that Landon has high-functioning autism and therefore might get nervous and ask “are we there yet?” several times. She further implored the setamate to make him feel “safe and comfortable” and included a $10 bill with the note.
She later told KATU, a local ABC affiliate in Portland,
I thought, how do I make it so whoever’s sitting next to him won’t look at him as a burden but more of like, I can help this kiddo get through the day.
Now let me pause here and say I certainly have some reservations about sending any seven-year child alone on a plane and especially a child who has special needs. I also think it could be considered crass to try to buy someone off with $10, especially when the only use for that on Southwest is to buy alcohol…
But, the story turned out quite nicely. Landon was seated next to a nice man named Ben Pedraza who was very happy to look after Landon. They talked, played games, and he even sent a selfie to Alexa with the following note:
Ben turned down the $10 for himself, instead donating to Autism-Society.org.
In a world of bad news, it’s nice to read a positive story like this, isn’t it? Now hopefully we will all play it forward. I’ve got a lot of travel this week and would love a similar opportunity.