Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Princes and Toads

I was fortunate to be seated next to an incredibly handsome and charming man on the flight back from Dulles International Airport today. The time flew as we discussed our travels, art, the symphony and literature we have recently found intriguing.

OK, maybe all of that is a slight exaggeration. But, he was very nice and we had fun chatting off and on during the flight.  Also, he was nice looking in a scruffy way, and only snored slightly as he sprawled in his seat while I read a boring book and watched the movie without the sound. His name is Mark Cantella and he works for SRAM, a company in Colorado Springs that produces bicycle components. 

In comparison to my Prince Mark, there was also a loathsome toad on the plane. At least, he sure acted like one.  I don’t know the man’s name, but he left a bad impression on everyone who observed him as he tried to put an over-sized carry-on into the upper bin. You know the scenario: He impatiently swung the large bag into the air–pushing other people aside in the process–and wedged it into the bin. Then, with a sour grimace and gritted teeth, he pushed, shoved, slammed the door and slammed it again and again and again to close it–to no avail. He looked very angry and blocked the aisle while he went through this process several times. Finally a steward came and helped him. But not before everyone around was viewing the man and his actions with disgust.

I think there is some great Cosmic payback for people who upset, disrupt and disturb others. One of these days he’ll chip a tooth on an ice cube or pinch his fingers in a drawer and he’ll wonder why. I know why! But the worse result is that his unpleasant behavior is probably habitual and today gave him more practice in being an obnoxious twit. That is why you and I need to be careful about letting ourselves show our worst traits, even now and then. Every time we do that we increase the chances it will become a habit.

Do this instead: The next time you’re tempted to be your worst self, purposely, intentionally and with focus, practice the discipline of being your best self instead. You know what your worst self is like and you know what your best self is, too.  Being a toad only requires you to let all of your warts show. Being a prince–or princess–requires more. But the results for you and others will be well worth it!

Thank you, Mark, for a pleasant trip. YOU were a Prince!

October 22nd, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work | 5 comments


  1. This was too funny! I read the first paragraph and thought you must really have been impressed with this man. Then I realized you were at least slightly joking….but he still sounds nice. The point you made about toads is true though. My brother-in-law is like that. When he is in public he gets really vicious with everyone, then excuses it by saying people understood that he was under stress. He makes everyone ELSE stressed! P.

    Comment by P.A.H. | October 26, 2008

  2. I thought I was the handsome Prince in your life, but I guess I’m not. I hope I’m not a toad. Unless that means you are going to kiss me on the cheek so I can change into a Prince. Any chance?

    Comment by wiseacre | October 26, 2008

  3. Phyllis is writing to tell you that she completely fell for your story at first. She yelled at me and said you had met a man on a plane! lol!!!! Then she said never mind.

    As you know, I found my prince last year. 🙂

    Comment by denisek | October 26, 2008

  4. Tina says: Thank you all for the comments. Wiseacre, I’ll be sure to kiss you next time I see you. But I don’t expect miracles!

    Comment by TLR | October 26, 2008

  5. Tina says: P.A.H., I’m sorry to disappoint you. Mark was a very young man. Very, very young. But very nice during the times we chatted.

    Denise, I’m glad you’re so happy with your Prince!

    Comment by TLR | October 26, 2008

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