“This is your captain speaking from the flight deck. I’ve turned on the fasten seat belt sign. We’re about to experience some turbulence. Please remain in your seats.”

I think of those words as we head into this week.

Captain … turbulence … remain seated.

Even with our feet solidly on the ground or our seats firmly planted in a stable chair, we are going to experience a bumpy ride this week.

Election day is bound to bring more questions than answers — at least initially. Once the votes are counted and recounted and probably recounted again, I anticipate a meltdown.

While some people will be filled with joy and relief, others will be overflowing with frustration and desperation.

The names on the ballot don’t matter. Politics bring out emotions. Add in a pandemic and a host of social issues and we have a country that has reached its boiling point.

It reminds me of being on an airplane.

A good pilot will tweak the route to avoid as much turbulence as possible, but sometimes we’ve gotta fly through it.

The truth is, most of the times I fly, I don’t think very much about the pilot. I assume he or she is doing their job and will get us to our final destination.

You know what I do think about? The person sitting next to me. Or the people sitting a few seats away.

If their heavy metal music is coming through their headphones, if they’re wearing two full bottles of their favorite perfume, if their arms and legs are extending past their seat and into mine. Those are the things that really change the comfort of my flight.

We are the people on the plane. Someone will be flying it. We may or may not have confidence in that person, but once the plane is off the ground, we’re sort of out of luck. Shouting out our complaints isn’t going to change who’s flying the plane. It’ll just freak out our seat mate.

We can wonder aloud if the plane is going to go down in a fiery ball or we can offer the person next to us our extra package of pretzels.

I bet in your life there is someone who needs your pretzels. Or at least a kind smile from across the aisle.

Let’s fill this week with kindness.