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Kawasaki’s Mensch

Guy Kawasaki is the former Chief Evangelist at Apple Computer and is now a famous author and speaker. Several years ago he wrote an excellent blog post on the topic How To Be A Mensch. In his piece, Kawasaki compared the afterlife to a Singapore Airlines 777, theorizing that those who have been really good get the lay-flat first class seats, while those who have been really bad end up in a coach class middle seat next to a screaming child.

In the blog post, Kawasaki writes, “You cannot buy your way into first class; nor can you use frequent flyer miles. The only way to earn an upgrade is to be a mensch.”

As someone who travels as much as I do (regularly flying 100,000 or more miles per year), I understand the value of getting a wonderful seat or an unexpected upgrade on a long-haul flight. Have you ever noticed that those free upgrades tend to go to those who smile and chat amiably with fellow passengers, as opposed to the loud-mouthed, ill-behaved, angry passengers who seem make berating airline employees into a sport?

I don’t know whether the afterlife is a non-stop flight to eternity with chocolate chip cookies baked inflight and endless magnums of champagne, but if it is, you can bet I’m planning to be nice to the gate agent.


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