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Two Grown Men Got Into a Fight On a Plane. A 13-Year-Old Girl Gave Them Sage Advice

Sometimes, it takes a kid to teach adults about behavior.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 31 Aug 2018

Two Grown Men Got Into a Fight On a Plane. A 13-Year-Old Girl Gave Them Sage Advice

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


These days, planes are narrower than a politician's mind.

The seats are smaller than that same politician's mind.

Which means that humans must suffer through.

Sometimes, they can't get there.

Their tempers fray, their uglier sides emerge and then police are called.

Sample: Earlier this week, a Frontier Airlines flight landed in Denver and people wanted to get off.

As Fox 31 reports, a man tried to get his carry-on out of the overhead bin.

As sometimes happens, he bumped a man in an aisle seat.

Words began to fly. You know, critical words.

One of the men pushed the other over. That man then fell onto a woman.

Threats were expressed. Promises of involuntary face-breaking, for example.

All this was witnessed by Maegan and Jonathan McGonigle. And their dad.

Maegan's first thoughts: "It made me really sad because there's so much, like, violence going on and stuff."

Recent times have, indeed, brought an intensification in the glorification of violence.

You didn't think this was possible in America? Oh, but we can do anything.

Maegan is 13. Her little brother is 6.

Both explained that they found the whole thing stressful.

"It makes me just, like, want to jump out the window," said Jonathan. "I don't like when people are yelling like that and saying bad words."

Those two yelling men were 36 and 28.

You'd think they might know better. If you were an insane optimist.

Behavior on planes hasn't, however, got better at all. It was left, then, to Maegan to offer sage advice to her elders, but definitely not betters:

If you get bumped by somebody with a bag, don't yell at them, don't call them names. Just apologize, even if it wasn't your fault. It was an accident. Just walk away and everything will be fine.

It's simple, really.

The British have it down to a fine art. (Except when they've had eight pints of lager.)

When they bump into you on the street, because they're not looking where they're going, they'll say "sorry."

In fact, they'll say sorry at the beginning of pretty much any interaction with a human stranger.

It's the psychological vestige of colonial guilt, or something like that.

Maegan's advice is, though, backed by science too.

Last week, I wrote about a UK police organization that released a video explaining how long it takes to calm down after you get angry. 90 seconds.

Wouldn't not reacting angrily for 90 seconds be better than being detained by the police?

Take it from a 13-year-old.

She knows.

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