The importance of saying thank you. Charles Plumb was a navy jet pilot. On his seventy-sixth combat mission, he was shot down, and he parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and now lectures on the lessons he learned from his experiences.
One day, a man approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant and said, “Are you Plumb the navy pilot?”
“Yes, how did you know?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.
Plumb was amazed—and grateful. “If the chute you packed hadn’t worked I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.
Plumb refers to this in his lectures: his realization that the anonymous sailors who packed the parachutes held the pilots’ lives in their hands, and yet the pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.
Now Plumb asks his audiences, “Who packs your parachutes? Who helps you through your life—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Think about who helps you; recognize them, and say thanks.”