How many of us have been jostled and crammed into a tiny airplane seat recently, only to lament delays caused by weather, extra fees demanded by the airlines for overweight bags, or the tiny bag of pretzels that have replaced meals on so many flights? It seems as if the collective mood on airplanes is pretty grumpy these days.

However, imagine what our ancestors just a few generations ago would have said if we could tell them about our ability to fly from city to city with such ease and frequency. Imagine trying to explain to a settler moving his family across the continent by wagon train that the trip could be done in a number of hours instead of months. Now think of the many citizens of this world who cannot afford a luxury such as flight, who may not be able to visit family or do business freely across such vast distances.

Now think about the first time you looked out the window and saw the country sprawling out below you. Maybe it was nighttime and all the lights of the cities and towns were twinkling. Maybe it was daytime and you could see the hedgerows, highways and the rivers delineating the landscape. Didn't you feel a sense of wonder? Don't you remember thinking, "Wow! That is unbelievable!"?

Along the way, many of us have lost the wonder of things such as flying. We should try to keep things in perspective and remain thankful for the amazing things we enjoy every day in our unbelievable present. (

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