Charles Plum, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter 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 six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal and 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 and you were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute,” the man replied, “I guess it worked!”
That night, Plumb couldn’t sleep. He kept wondering what this man might have looked like in a sailor uniform. He wondered how many times he might have passed him on the ship and never acknowledged him. How many times he never said hello, good morning or how are you. Plumb was a fighter pilot, respected and revered, while this man was just an ordinary sailor. Now it grated on his conscious.
Plumb thought of the many lonely hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the fabric together, making sure the parachute was just right and going to great lengths to make it as precise as can be, knowing that somebody’s life depended on it. Only now does Plumb have a full appreciation for what this man did. And now Plumb goes around the world as a motivational speaker asking people to recognize who is packing your parachute.
Have we thanked those who contributed to the lives we are blessed to live?
Categories: Maxime si cugetari