You may at first think by the title of this story that I am referring to pilots that depend on a parachute to save their lives in case of an anticipated crash. Not exactly. Although pilots of jet fighters do count on having a parachute, they are not the only ones.
A Pilot Shot Down
I was reminded of the necessity of a parachute when I read a story about a Vietnam pilot who was shot down but survived because he had a well-packed parachute. In his story, he mentioned that he had ignored the very sailors that packed his chute because he was, after all, a pilot and they were just sailors. But, that changed one day when, after he had returned home, he actually met the sailor who packed his chute - a person who he had ignored but the very one who through their diligence in making sure his chute was packed so it would work properly, had saved his life.
Has Someone Helped You
Now, we do not need to be a jet fighter pilot to need someone who helps save our lives. But, each one of us may have been guilty of ignoring those who have directly or indirectly helped us, or ignored those around us thinking that we were better than are. It is not a matter either of being in an extreme position like a jet fighter pilot. I was delighted to read in a magazine recently that retired Chief Of Defense Staff, General Hillier, Canadian Armed Forces, was a man who ensured that every soldier he met was recognized as a fellow human being, of value, important, and crucial. What impressed me even more was his commitment to ensure that all officers adopted the same habit by getting to know all their personnel.
Everyone with in any organization, company or group is as important as any other. The difference is that we do different jobs, have different responsibilities, and have different pay grades. But, we are the same in our human qualities; all performing an essential component just like every spoke of an old wagon wheel contributes to the success of the whole. If a spoke breaks, it lessens the support of the wheel.
We All Need Assistance At Some Point In Our Lives
We should also recognize that sooner or later, we all need support, help, and a parachute. This assistance can and will come in many forms including those who we count as friends, or a colleague at work, or even a complete stranger.
Part of our human qualities also means to value those we meet everyday including just a simple hello, or paying attention to them by really listening to what they are saying not just waiting for a chance to bolt.
We all could use a parachute or several. Do not discount those whom you interact with, and remember also that the parachute works both ways.
"To do more for the world than the world does for you - that is success."