BLOG: WHO PACKED YOUR PARACHUTE?
Gratitude is a powerful practice that enhances our daily lives…not just during Thanksgiving time and the holiday season.
This story came from the website InspirationPeak.com. It is a good reminder for us that there is always something to be grateful for, even those people we may not even know…enjoy!
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 he or she needs 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", or 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, and the holidays, ask yourself and recognize those people who pack your parachutes. Gratitude matters…
P.S. If you would like more support packing your parachute for responding to life's trials, give us a call. In between our speaking and coaching engagements, we carve out a few individualized sessions each month. Schedule your appointment here.