When Lynette Scribner took to Facebook to write about a recent experience on Alaskan Airlines, she never thought the story would touch the hearts of millions of people.
“I can’t say enough about this beautiful young woman named Clara who didn’t think twice about helping her fellow passenger,” Lynette wrote to Frank Somerville on June 20th, 2018. “It was a beautiful reminder, in this time of too much awfulness, that there are still good, good people who are willing to look out for each other.”
On a recent flight with Alaskan Airlines, Scribner and other passengers witnessed a passenger called Tim traveling alone. While somebody traveling solo might not seem anything out of the ordinary, Tim was both deaf and blind. This meant that as much as the airline staff attempted to communicate with him, they struggled.
The flight attendants sincerely wanted to assist him, but had no way to communicate. I watched as they didn’t flinch when he reached out to touch their faces and arms. They took his hand and tried so hard to communicate with him, to no avail. He had some verbal ability, but clearly could not understand them.
After some brainstorming amongst the crew, they decided to make an announcement asking if anyone on board knew sign language. That was when 15-year-old Clara came into the picture.
Clara had learned ASL (American Sign Language) as she has dyslexia, so it was easier for her to learn than a foreign language. Introducing herself to Tim, Clara sat with him for the rest of the flight. They would communicate one letter at a time, signing each individual letter into Tim’s hands so that he could feel them.
It was fascinating to watch as she signed one letter at a time into his hand. He was able to ‘read’ her signing and they carried on an animated conversation.
The pair became fast friends and Clara stayed with him chatting and helping him as he needed. Young Clara was patient with Tim and treated him with kindness and care. Passengers around them were overwhelmed by the sweetness of the scene in front of them.
As it turned out, Clara and her family weren’t even meant to be on that flight. Their original flight had been canceled and so they had transferred onto this plane instead. It appears that fate had a part to play; the universe clearly knew that Tim would need a helping hand and made it so that he would have a friend on his flight.
Clara’s mother, Jane Daly, said, “After the flight, Clara told me that she thought it was meant to be that our original flight was canceled and we were placed on this flight so that she could be there to help this man.”
Despite Clara’s wonderful interaction with Tim, so many people on the airline came together to help him. The cabin crew were accommodating and the gentlemen sat next to him gave up his seat on the end of the aisle for him. It was a collective effort to make sure that Tim had as pleasant a flight as possible.
“I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being,” Scribner wrote.
This is exactly the kind of news we need; of human kindness at its best. A group of strangers rallied together to help one gentleman, and that proves that humanity is capable of wonderful things when we work together for the greater good.