We hear a lot of negatives in the news – people being cruel, bullying. We hear about apathy and sadness. And, of course, it’s seldom these days a happy story comes out of the sometimes rather disappointing world of airplane travel.

In case we needed a reminder of the good that still does exist in the world (and lets face it, things are dire: we do), last week on an Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to Portland, flight attendants were looking for someone who may speak sign language in order to communicate with a blind and deaf passenger traveling on his own.


Photo Credit: Lynette Scribner via Facebook

“I was like, doesn’t seem too hard — let’s do it!” 15-year-old Clara Daly, from Los Angeles, told KGW.

The teen kneeled in the aisle next to 64-year-old deaf and blind Tim Cook and started signing into his palms. Daly finger-spelled, “How are you? Are you OK? Do you need anything?” she told KGW.

Lynette Scribner, who was also on the flight and sitting near Cook, shared the story on Facebook. Her account of what happened has been shared more than a million times.

“It was fascinating to watch as she signed one letter at a time into his hand,” Scribner wrote. “He was able to ‘read’ her signing and they carried on an animated conversation. When he asked her if she was pretty, she blushed and laughed as (the seat mate), who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim.”

“I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being,” she added. “All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to.”

See what magic is possible when we actually talk to each other, by whatever means, in whatever setting, necessary?