Michelle, that's a lovely story - and it is my philosophy too, and why I continue to feed the birds and other creatures that I find around me.
You've probably read this before, but it moved me when I first read it:
How™s your parachute?
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 gives lectures on lessons he learned from that.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, œYou™re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!
œHow in the world did you know that? asked Plumb.
œI packed your parachute, the man replied.
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.
The man shook hands and said, œI guess it worked!
Plumb assured him, œIt sure did. If your chute hadn™t worked, I wouldn™t be here today.
Plumb couldn™t sleep that night, thinking about that man. œI 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 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, each time holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn™t know.
Now, Plumb asks his audiences, œWho™s packing your parachute?
Everyone has someone who provides what they need 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.
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 then, to 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 parachute.
I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute! And I hope that 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, so maybe this could explain: 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 cared-for, and what do you get? - a forwarded joke.
So, my friends, next time if you get a joke, don™t think it has been sent just as 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.