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Monday, August 22, 2016

Angels on Monday

How’s your Monday getting started? In honor of National “Be an Angel Day” I’m sharing the inspiring words and remarkable story of Captain Charlie Plumb.

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 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 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.

Are you all packed? Let’s all go be angels!


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    U.S. Navy jet pilot Captain Charlie Plumb's restaurant encounter with the sailor who packed his chute during the Vietnam conflict is a powerful metaphor.

    Just last night I watched Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, the excellent documentary film available on Netflix. At a staff meeting held immediately following one of Robbins' six day seminar programs, the motivational superstar personally thanked the 100+ workers who helped him pull off the event. He noted that even the people with lower level positions who work behind the scenes and do not share the limelight, such as the ones responsible for positioning chairs in the auditorium and making sure fresh water is available in the seminar room, performed a vital duty. Without them handling such details, Robbins noted, the program would not impact participants as profoundly as it does and would not be the success it has been for more than thirty years. I highly recommend that two hour documentary.

    Every one of us needs to stop and think of the many people who enable us to survive each day and to experience how good it feels to acknowledge those people every chance we get.

    Thank you, dear friend Diedre, and have a wonderful week!

    1. Good morning, dear Shady!

      When I run across something as uplifting, refreshing as this I just have to share ;-) I'm glad you came by to enjoy it too.

      No wonder your posts are so clever, you're into motivation. I don't know much about Netflix but, thanks to your recommendation, I watched an outstanding video on The Power of Choice by Tony Robbins and absolutely loved it!

      Thanks for helping to make a good day even better, my friend!

  2. That was an awesome story. You never know who is doing something to save your life.

    "I guess it worked!" That made me chuckle. And this was a great life lesson as well. "Who's packing your parachute?" That really got me thinking. My family; my writing/blogging friends like you, Diedre; and my cats (haha) are packing my parachute.

    1. Cats! I knew I was missing something!
      It's true, it's all too easy to forget the ones who quietly guide us, as well as keep us safe as we go along in life. And yet it's easier still to let them know they are appreciated.
      Thank you, lady Chrys, for keeping me from 'steppin' in it' so many times :-)

  3. Hi Diedre - what a great story .. and yes how often do we forget those that actually matter, who have helped save us .. the unknowns and forgottens in our lives - who've helped us through ...

    Also as you mention - we need to remember to thank people all through our lives ... I have some thank you cards to write shortly ...

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!
      Aren't Thank You cards the sweetest gesture? I think of them as therapy for I'm always smiling as I write them.
      Wishing you a day of sunny thoughts!

  4. I've heard that quote, "Who's Packing Your Parachute?" before and never knew what it meant until now!


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