Airport check-in clerk: Have a safe flight!

Passenger: You too!

* * *

Sometimes, we’re on autopilot with our responses. Like the receptionist at the coroner’s office who absentmindedly says, “Have a nice day,” while ending a painful telephone call.

Or a politician’s practiced motion to shake a hand before seeing that the veteran has no arms.

When these moments happen — and they inevitably happen — it’s an opportunity for us to recommit to being present, mindful, and intentional in our words and actions. That is… after we shake off the pang of embarrassment.