Who Is Preparing Your Parachute?
Ahmet F. Yüksel

Charles Pluumb was an American war pilot who had been fighting in Vietnam. After 75 successful sorties he had been hit by a missile that had hit his plane. When the aircraft was just starting to fall he had pulled the fling away arm and jumped out of the aircraft. His parachute opened and he had landed safely on the ground and captured by the enemies. After he had been arrested he spent 6 years in a Vietnamese prison. In the end this difficult period was over and he was free again. One day when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant someone from the neighbour tables came over and said :

‘‘I have recognized you, you are Plumb. You are the one who flew over to Vietnam from Kity Hawk war ship by a bombing jet and you have been shot  there.’’

-‘‘It is hard to believe, but how can you know this?’’ asked Plumb

The man answered :

‘‘I know it very well, because I was the one who had prepared your parachute.’’

Upon  hearing this, Plumb stood up with joy and embraced him.  The man said ‘‘I think  you did not have any problems because of  the parachute?’’

Plumb answered ‘‘If, it had created problems, then I wouldn’t be here talking to you.’’

That night Plumb could not sleep and thought about the man. He wandered how that man looked like when he was in the navy, he looked like whom?  How would he spot him among the hundreds who had the same white hat, the navy foulard and the jacket with metal buttons.

He questioned himself  for  how many times he met him, but refrained from saying ‘‘How are you?  Or Good morning!’’

After all he was a war pilot and the other one was an ordinary navy officer.  Every day, how many hours that man had spent in the dark  basement of  the ship while preparing with utmost care (like a doctor operating a patient)  the parachutes over the wooden tables; folding meters of   silk tissues and and the ropes which were so many in number.   Who knows for how many times he had been weaving the fate of someone else and for how many times his hands helped some other person to hold onto life.  He had done these without knowing who these individuals would be.

Now, during his meetings Plumb asks the following question everyday: ‘‘Who is preparing your parachute?  Everyone has some people around who does things and makes life easier, more valuable for him. Who are the ones who have prepared your parachutes.?’’

Then  he adds ‘‘While I had fallen on the enemy gorunds I did not have only one parachute, but many parachutes. My physical parachute, the parachute of  my mind, the parachute of my feelings and also my spiritual parachute was with me. Without their support I wouldn’t be secure and I wouldn’t be successful.

My Dear Friends!

Perhaps during the daily life although there are so many things to be remembered and to be thankful we refrain from saying ‘‘Hello’’ or ‘‘How are you?’’ and just pass. Let us answer sincerely ‘‘How many of us  remember with respect the people who have added colour to our lives and be grateful to them.  Let alone being grateful we choose to have a spite against them. It is not a talent to go on living under the pressure of  the contradictiosn in your mind. We should not forget that there comes a day when everyone will have to use his or her own parachute. It might be today or tomorrow, but it will come along for sure.

May you remain with love and may you be trusted to Allah.

Ýstanbul - December 15 th 2009


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