Jet Laggard

Attitude shapes how we perceive the world.

Flying from San Diego to Baltimore, I am enjoying the diversity of people on the road. Two distinct attitudes stuck out to me. To encapsulate these two personalities, I’m going to use the characters from one of my favorite comic strips, Goofus & Gallant. Goofus is negative and problematic, much different from his benevolent counterpart Gallant.

Chain of Events

Low tire pressure leads to a plane delay of 20 minutes. Despite the delay, we are expected to arrive on-time. Goofus lets out a few curses whereas Gallant is not phased.

This airline charges for drinks. Goofus voices their displeasure by comparing the airline to a pile of male cow manure and berating their spouse for ordering a beer. Gallant had filled up their water bottle before taking off and remains undisturbed.

The plane ascends to cruising altitude but has not switched off the fasten seatbelt sign. Goofus needed to use the restroom and asked the flight attendant if they could relieve themselves. The flight attendant says to wait a few seconds until the sign turns off. Goofus is outraged to wait any longer to get what they want. Gallant was prepared and used the restroom prior to boarding.


In each scenario, when a potential obstacle arose Goofus reacted with vehement disgust, whereas Gallant could not be bothered. How does the difference in attitude affect our lives? Goofus gets caught in a rage with each insignificant setback, whereas Gallant continued to focus on things they could control. Goofus seemed to radiate negativity. Goofus didn’t just see a glass of water half empty, they were outraged that someone had the gall to only serve them water.

Regardless of where this negativity originates from, once it’s identified it becomes the first step toward correcting it. If you catch yourself in a negative freefall, try to think about things you’re thankful for or better yet remember the true goal is reaching your final destination and the journey will take a few turns along the way.