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Who's Packing Your Parachute?
dan632 Posted: Wed Oct 29 05:51:23 2003 Post | Quote in Reply  

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 someone 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 am sending you this as my way
of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute. And I hope you will
send it on to those who have helped pack yours! Sometimes, we wonder why
friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could
explain it: When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess
what you do --- you forward jokes. And to let you know that you are still
remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still
cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke. So my friend, next time
when you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another
forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the
other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack
your parachute.

To the people who pack my parachute...thank you

FN Posted: Wed Oct 29 05:59:54 2003 Post | Quote in Reply  


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