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Who Packs Your Parachute

A friend recently sent me a link to an inspirational website that asked the question, “Who packs your parachute?” It is based on a true story about Captain Charles Plumb, US Navy Pilot, who flew 75 missions in Vietnam. He was shot down, parachuted into enemy territory and held captive for 6 years. After returning to the States, and being reunited with his family, he had a chance encounter with a man who recognized him from his time on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. The sailor said, “I know you. I was working the day you flew your last mission and I packed your parachute.” That encounter set a whole series of events in to motion and Plumb has become a spokesperson of the “parachute” philosophy. Plumb was overcome with gratitude and awareness that people that you may not know or recognize may have powerful influence in your life. The question remains for all of us, “Who packs your parachute?”

We put our lives in the hands of so many people every day. We trust that our car has good brakes…thank you assembly-line worker! We know that if we call 911 first responders are ready to come. Not only do we depend on others for our physical parachute, but there are so many unsung heroes that support us mentally and spiritually every day. Daily acts of kindness from others that just say hello or share a smile may keep us from hitting bottom. Do you think of yourself as one who packs parachutes for others? Wouldn’t it be great to be more intentional about smiling, sharing a kind word or helping a stranger find their way? As we pack parachutes of support for family, friends, and total strangers little do they know how they support us with words of gratitude and their wonderful smiles. Let's do more of it! Comment or contact me at

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