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
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.......
Have a great day and stay in touch....