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The Friendly Skies
What would you do if you boarded a plane to discover that you’re seated next to a frazzled mom and two screaming toddlers? For most of us, we would breathe a deep sigh of annoyance and quickly search for an empty seat as far away as possible.

But when Todd Walker of Lenexa, Kansas, found himself in that position, he focused on how he could help. He reached for Jessica Rudeen’s baby and held 4-month-old Alexander while Jessica buckled her daughter’s seatbelt and soothed her fears about flying. Then he handed Alexander back to mom and made friends with Caroline. Shortly, the two were coloring in the 3-year-old’s coloring book and watching a movie together.

The remainder of the flight was calm, quiet, and enjoyable for all. When Walker and Rudeen realized they had the same connecting flight, he helped her gather her stroller and carry-ons and led them to the next gate. There, he arranged to change seats to sit next to his new friends on the flight to Wilmington.

“It was a huge blessing to be able to accept that help, and to even be offered that help,” Rudeen said. “Todd showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person.”

Walker recalled his wife having had a similar travel experience when his kids were little. He downplayed his actions, saying helping someone is easier than we think: “If you think you can, or if they certainly ask you for it, step up and help them. You know, it doesn’t cost you anything to step up and give them a hand,” Walker said.

To Jessica Rudeen and her kids, it was a gift beyond measure.

Read the full story here.

Do you have a story of kindness you’d like to share? Stop by our Book page and submit yours today! A word of kindness goes a long way.

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