The Flight that Never Ends
What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?
Several hours? Perhaps a day or so?
How did you feel at the end of that flight? I mean, both physically and mentally. Were you fresh? Did you feel alive?
No. Of course not.
You were totally exhausted. Completely spent. When the plane finally landed, all you could think about was getting off that airplane, going outside, moving around a little, and stretching your legs. Getting home, where you could go on with living, probably became an obsession.
We tolerate being trapped inside what amounts to a small room for several hours at a time because we know the annoyances of modern air travel will eventually end. We know the discomfort of not being able to move around is only a temporary condition. We know the lousy food, cramped atmosphere, and unhealthy surroundings will last only a limited time before we’re able to run free and enjoy all that’s out there in the world, meant to be savored.
But what would it be like to take off from an airport and never arrive. What would it feel like to leave a place and then remain suspended in flight forever? How would your mind and body react to what amounts to forced eternal captivity?
That’s not all. Let’s make things even more unbearable. Let’s take away all forms of entertainment and stimulation. Let’s remove things you might read. Let’s remove televisions. Let’s get rid of smartphones. Let’s block the Internet. For the entire duration of this endless flight you’ll have to sit and stare at the back of another airline seat — forever.
I mean forever, as in for the rest of your life — 24-hours-a-day, 7-days a week, 365-days-a-year — for as long as you live.
Wait, the conditions get worse. Let’s make the airplane a filthy place. Let’s leave puddles of urine and piles of excrement all over the floor, adding to the nauseating smell. Imagine that all around you.
Could you take it? Would you be able to stand the discomfort? Could you tolerate these conditions? Would you finally break down? Might you become a raging beast? Would you go insane? At some point, might you want to kill yourself?
Instead, I ask you to think about these conditions — being stuck on an airplane. Imagine a flight that never ends.
What would that horrible experience be like?
Here’s an idea: Perhaps we should ask him: