“Who packs your Parachute?”

October 10, 2007

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.

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.

Source: “Insights into Excellence”



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, recognize the people who pack your parachutes.

I am posting this story as my way of thanking each and everyone of you for your part in packing my parachute.


How’s your parachute packing coming along? Who looks to you for strength in times of need? And perhaps, more importantly, who are the special people in your life who provide you with the encouragement you need when the chips are down? Perhaps it’s time now to give those people a call and thank them for packing your chute.


Thank you so much to Mel, Wennnn & Misha who awarded me with “Nice Matters Awards”.


“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

Besides passing this award back to Mel, Wennnn & Misha, I am passing it to my following friends who have helped me packed my parachute:

Ian, Winn, Doc, Angele, LaSh, Hooi Ching, Tine, Selba, Alexandra, Gallivanter, Alison, Kat, Lil, TitahpahChe-Cheh, Endroo, _butt, IamikelDabido, MaySengkorTim, Cocka, LB, Kyels, Misti, Beetrice, Sha, Moz, Lex, LX, Waz, Stev, Angel, Cutiepie, Yvy, AnnElviza, Gab & X5.

41 Responses to ““Who packs your Parachute?””

  1. stev Says:

    cheers to parachutes, airbags & all other safety equipment!

    glad to see you post =)

    Thank you for being so supportive, Stev.
    Isn’t it time for you to update too? 😛

  2. doc Says:


    You’ve been helpful & supportive.
    You really deserve the award, Doc.

  3. Wennnn Says:

    Hheeheheh I got this awarded to me twice today

    Wennnn, if I am to give out this award again.. I’ll still give it to you.

  4. hooiching Says:

    thanks for the credit..but i really really din do much, as friends we can only give support.the rest is up 2 u k.hang in there dearie

    Hooi Ching, you may think it isn’t much..but all those personal sharing & kind words.. they’re a huge help, my dearest friend.

    Grazie. Sicuramente viaggio. Perdere si. Precauzione, prediletto.


  5. LB Says:

    I wish I could have done more, but am glad what little (and it was very minute) I was able to help, got your parachute working! Big HUGS!!

    It may be little now.. it will be more one day.
    It may have been very minute now.. it will be HUGE one day.

    Grazie, LB.


  6. X5 Says:

    tks jem ;p. & i shall treasure this as i treasure our frindship ;p

    You’ve been nothing but a GEM, X5… ever since day 1. 😉


  7. Piglrim Says:

    Thanks for this post. I really needed to be reminded of the things you wrote.

    You’re welcome, Pilgrim.

  8. day-dreamer Says:

    It’s really nice to hear from you again.

    Hope things are getting better already.


    Things are still the same, D-D.

    Thanks very much for your support here.


  9. Sha Says:

    Thank you dearest, but really, you don’t have to pass it on. It really belongs to you because you have been inspiring us all year round 🙂

    I’m always happy to share good things with nice & caring friends like you, Sha.

  10. Yvy Says:

    aawww…..*sniff sniff* i feel so terharu. thank u, dear. 🙂 *hugs hugs*

    Thanks for your prayers, Yvy.
    Keep them coming…


  11. endroo G Says:

    eh.. why so emo…. thanks anyway. Hehe.

    Selamat Hari Raya.

    Not emo, Endroo.. I’m just grateful to have caring & supportive friends like you & Szer.

    Selamat Hari Raya.

  12. Tine Says:

    Aww thanks, my dear. I didn’t do anything at all 🙂

    Glad to see you here once again *hugs*

    Tine, you & Tim never stopped praying for us.. that’s the dearest thing anyone could have done for us at this moment.


  13. Selba Says:

    Thanks for the “nice matters award”. That’s so sweet of you 🙂

    You’re welcome, Selba.

  14. mistipurple Says:

    ah, an award! thank you. i parachute packer ah? ah yo, i cannot even pack my clothes properly.

    Misti, you may not be able to pack your clothes properly but you did packed my parachute without any problems. 😉

  15. friend of jo Says:


    you not happy with my last comment?

    is that why you delete it?

    i only write the truth about zeroimpact

    why do you want to protect him since he already dump you?

  16. Kyels Says:

    Glad to see you post Jem!


    And thanks … You’ll always have us parachutes!

    Thanks, “Kyelachute”. 😛

  17. Gallivanter Says:

    Thank you thank you. Hope your situation improves soon…I’m praying for ya!

    Thanks, Dan.. we are praying & hoping too..

  18. iamikel Says:

    weeeeee……. thanks, jem! i did not do much! hoping to know you more…

    take careeeee…

    You did heaps, Iamikel.. you prayed & you shared.

  19. waz Says:

    thanks! 🙂 but are you sure I’m the right person to be awarded? still, i’m glad you are back. it means things are getting better and you are a little bit happier…rite?

    Waz, you deserve this award for being such a supportive blogger pal.
    Things are still the same.. which I pray & hope will be better soon.

  20. Giddy Tiger Says:

    Very nice story – I’ve read it before long time ago, but it was worth a second read. Thanks!

    Welcome, Giddy Tiger. 🙂

    Yup, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

  21. angel Says:

    Whoopie! I flew here when I saw the msg :mrgreen:

    I didn’t think that I helped you pack anything at all 😦 But you jump, I jump also lah, ok?

    Thank you for the award… Hope you get lotsa zzzzz this weekend 🙂

    You showed your concern through one of our pals.. that meant a lot to me, Angel. Hence, it’s my pleasure to share the award with you.
    Nah.. we shall leave the “you jump, I jump” to LB & Cocka. 😛

  22. Dabido Says:

    Actually, I’m the guy in the bowels of the ship who hides under the parachutes and when people come to pack them I leap out and scream ‘Boo’.
    You’ll have to beleive me, I’m very cute when I do it! 🙂

    Luckily it keeps the moral eup for the real parachute packers! 🙂

    Thanks for the award. I’ll put it next to my Mice Natters Award, whcih I received for teaching mice to natter on like little old ladies in a hair dressing salon. I actually wanted a Nobel Prize for it, but apparently they haven’t got a ‘Useless Discovery’ category yet. I’m sure they’ll get one soon for me though. 😉


    Good Luck, Dabs… I’m sure you’ll get a Nobel Prize one day.

  23. friend of jo Says:

    although you didnt reply to my comment, i am not deter from commenting here again

    i honestly like your blog

    my hat off to you again for not deleting my last comment 😉

  24. Misha Says:

    jiejie .. you are back! how are you?/ 🙂

    I’m fine although I’m exhausted, Mish.


  25. may Says:

    awwww, thanks for the award! glad to be part of your parachute, even if it’s just a little corner. every corner meets a corner… and pretty soon you have a big parachute, yea?

    cheers and take care now! hugs.

    Big or small parachute.. it doesn’t matter.. the purpose is the same.. a life-saver. We should all be glad that we’re one, May.


  26. LX Says:

    ahhh tis award … hehehe … hello fr sunny cannes … i’ve just got to leg it for one more day and I’m done!

    Wishing you a happy Raya in London, LX.

  27. _butt Says:

    Thanks for the award Jemima! *muah* 🙂

    I believed that each of us packed each other’s parachutes at some point of our lives. You know, just as much as we ‘packed’ yours, you were also part of the strength I was looking during bad times. You reminded me that though life is not easy, we’re always have the option not to give up if we want to. And that’s what I’m doing now. 🙂

    So Jemima, never give up! Hope you have a good rest this coming weekend 🙂

    *repeats after _butt*

    Never Give Up!!!

    I’m so happy to know that my advice has such a positive effect on you, dearie. I was truly glad to be of some help when you came to me then…


  28. Chester Says:

    I’m so glad you’re back blogging… even though it might just be for a moment. That’s a sweet story. Smile dear.

    Thanks for the award.

    Spot-on, Chester… it’s only for a moment.

    You deserve the award, my dear friend. *HUGS*

  29. waz Says:

    🙂 we’ll pray with ya!

    Thank you, Waz.
    Much appreciated.

  30. gab Says:

    Thanks for helping me pack mine too. You’re one in a million. (n_n)

    You deserve the award, my dearest friend.. for always being there for me.. no matter when I was in Oz or Europe or even when you were Bali or the Philippines.


  31. friend of jo Says:

    i read through most of your old stuff

    you write good

    i hope you will write more

  32. hooiching Says:

    girl thanks~ but i din do anythin at all..i dun deserve the credit haha..we can only support but u the one that has to take the actions ok? take care

    Hooi Ching, by leaving this comment.. you’ve already proven to be a caring friend.. & this is just between our blogs. Don’t forget the support you’ve always given me off-blogs.

    Have a safe journey to KL & then on to Perugia.
    I’m gonna miss you, babe.


  33. pretty in the city Says:

    Hi Jem, you deserve the award.

    Btw, glad to see this post. I really appreciate our friendship.

    I hope everything is all right.

    Take care & Hugs

    Mel, you deserve this award too.. for being such a wonderful friend always.

    Things remain the same…


  34. Angele Says:

    Thank you for the award Jem 🙂 Very much appreciated!


    Angele, both you & LaSh deserve this award for being so supportive & caring in your smses.. all the way from Mauritius.


  35. Kyels Says:

    friend of jo,

    You commented here and also my site; what are you actually seeking for? Mind sharing?

  36. alison Says:

    oo… thank you for the award. glad to be of service. 🙂

    You know you deserve it, Alison.


  37. Lil Says:

    thanks jem, for the award 🙂

    hope you have a good weekend ahead, and enjoying some of the hari raya festivities.. *hugs*

    You’re most welcome, Lil.

    Wishing you a happy weekend too..


  38. kat Says:

    Awww… jem. Thank you for so much for the beautiful words. I am the honoured one, because all I can do is offer my friendship and support. I cannot force the recipient accept it, and I am glad that you did.

    I don’t necessarily have to be friends with someone, or even know them personally to help them. By virtue of being humans living on the same planet, we should offer a helping hand to one another instead of trampling and backstabbing each other. Makes the world a kinder place if everyone realises that, doesn’t it?

    You have a good week, and remember to get lots of fresh air and laughter, ya?


    Kat, you’re a true “parachute packer” & a life-saver.
    No words can show my sincere appreciation towards your care & love.
    Besides, I’m very sure I’m not the only blogger pal whom you have offered so much help & friendship to.

    I’m taking each day as it comes… things have been very unpredictable… depends on daily situation these days.

    Wishing you a good week with your family too.


  39. Cocka Doodle Says:

    Thanks for the award! Finally claiming it liao!
    Hope everything works out well with you & your mum, yeah!
    Take care!

    CD, the WRC really kept you away from blogs. 😛
    We’re ploughing on. Will update you via sms.
    You take care too.

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