Monday, March 13, 2006

Who packed your parachute?

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.

"Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has some one who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory -- he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.!

I received this thru an email from a friend of my husbands father. Thanks, Uncle Jim.


At 5:20 AM, Blogger Connie and Rob said...

Thanks for sharing. This is so true and something we can work on everyday.


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I really enjoyed this post Lucy! It is something we could all benefit from!

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

It's nice
to be nice
to the nice.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

Great post.
God packs my parachute.
My friends provide the soft landing.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

BTW, I loved your Constitution facts below. Interesting stuff.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I can't think of anybody who packs my parachute. Another reason I don't like to fly.

To answer your question on my neighborhood walk, I went during the middle of the afternoon. I do see a lot of dog walkers out at night, though. If we walk our dog, that's when he goes.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Great story. Recognizing those around us who inspire us and encourage us is something we all should do.
A kind word & a smile means a lot.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

connie & rob - Yes this is something we can do daily.

oh great one - we can all benefit for a little kindness.

polyman2 - Yes, it is nice to be nice.

angel jr. - Yes God and others around us pack out parachute.

lighten bugs butt - I thought they were interesting too.

big dave - The puppies want to be walked the minute it gets dark. They know what time it is.

jamie dawn - a kind word and a smile will work wonders.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Jahn said...

Well, whataya know... this one's true.


Remember, though: any landing you walk away from is a good one. If you can re-use the plane, it was a great one. :-)

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I love these type of stories, indeed it's important to greet everyone, someone working in the grocery store on the corner, someone who repairs your bike, true they are being paid but they deserve a respectful greeting and acknowledging of their work.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt story, with a message that all can relate to in one way or another.

Thank you for sharing, Lucy!

At 10:11 AM, Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said...

That's always a good one everytime I read it.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Texas_Ivy10 said...

Great post!


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