Who Packed Your Parachute?


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.

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate,
was a jet pilot in Vietnam.
After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a
surface-to-air missile.
Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy lands.
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 might have 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 else, because, you see,
I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had
spent on 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 he or she needs to make
it through the day.
Plumb 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.
His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves
to weather whatever storms lie ahead.

As you go through this week, this month, this year…
recognize the people who pack your parachute!
Appreciate and be grateful.

Leave a Reply

2 responses to “Who Packed Your Parachute?”

  1. Janett says:

    Some times we take people for granted
    Some times we take things for granted
    Never know how important they are to us
    Until there anymore

    • Jim says:

      Yes, how many times have we taken things for granted and then realized it only when it was too late.
      Lets be grateful and live in the moment.

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