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« The Shack-My Review | Main | Taking the Roof Off »

February 05, 2009

Comments

I'm sure I'm not the first to recall this verse...

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Phil 4:8)

That belongs in the dictionary under "calm, cool, collected". You can hear Capt. Sully early on suggest that he may ditch in the Hudson. When I took flying lessons, they trained me to always have in my field of view a potential emergency landing spot- more than one preferably. Then when (not if) engine cut out happens, aim for it, trouble shoot the problem, and focus! He had that river lined up in his sights, sought options, and when all else failed made a brilliant landing! Bravo, and praise God for men like that!

Let's not also forget the millions of unsung heroes that never get the press, decent pay or recognition while doing their jobs with extraordinary skills all around us. They often go unnoticed and under appreciated simply because they fall under the simple category of "hard and diligent workers" in every walk of life. Let's keep in mind that simply because they don't have fancy titles and sky-high salaries, doesn't mean that they aren't worthy of the same kind of admiration that has been expressed time and time again for Capt. Sully. Thank God for those as well. May we never fall into the trap of listening only to the popular press while ignoring the simple Joe(not necessarily the plumber) living next door.

"I really love witnessing people who are very good at what they do."

Melinda, I feel the same way about all you folks at STR.

Louis,

While most every job has some genuine value (to God and to society), and every person has the same intrinsic value no matter what they do, not every job is equally valuable. Also, not every action performed among people of a particular trade acting in their official capacity is equally valuable.

Some jobs simply provide more important services or products than others. And some actions performed in one's "official capacity" transcend the common sense of a job duty.

When a doctor puts a pen in his shirt pocket, that is incomparably less significant than when he removes a cyst from someone's lymph node.

So praising Capt. Sully for his exceptional courage, skill, and determination that directly led to preserving the lives of 155 people under his care is totally deserved. If I were to achieve ultimate perfection doing any job I will ever hold, and to transcend the mere description of my job duties, I will never accomplish one tenth of the good that the combined crews did on that flight.

Sage S.

"So praising Capt. Sully for his exceptional courage, skill, and determination that directly led to preserving the lives of 155 people under his care is totally deserved. If I were to achieve ultimate perfection doing any job I will ever hold, and to transcend the mere description of my job duties, I will never accomplish one tenth of the good that the combined crews did on that flight."

I agree that the good Captain is quite deserving of praise. However, I should point out that your remaining argument is in error. I live in Rochester NY and here in Rochester is a company that manufactured a part for that very aircraft that allowed it to maintain power on the plane when both engines were catastrophically shut off due to bird strike. Had that device not functioned to perfection, all 155 passengers on that flight would have been lost. Sully's heroism would never have been sung were it not for the unsung heroes that manufactured, delivered, installed, QCd that critical part of the aircraft.

Sage, I understand your view, but I respectfully disagree with it. There are heroes out there just as important to the lives saved that we will never know or hear about in the press. Just because they don't fit as one of the variables in "your" formula for a hero does not make them any less so. Who is the greater hero...the one who is directly involved in heroic action or the one that makes it possible for many others to? Sully, saved 155...that device may have saved many times that and may in fact do so in the future. I think you need to revise your hero formula.

Louis,

Not everything that adds value to life or that preserves and enriches life is in the category of heroism.

I can't help but chuckle at what the construction team that built my apartment complex would think at being called heroes for putting together a structure that doesn't fall down. "Your decision to use that level and take proper measurements represents the stuff that heroes are made of."

When people get onto a plane, they are trusting with their lives that the airline has made darn sure that thing won't fall apart. The manufacturers are REQUIRED to ensure that passengers won't die due to faulty workmanship. So if a factory in NY manufactures parts that perform well over time and keep a plane from plummeting to the ground, that is the very LEAST they should do.

Now their jobs are valuable and significant (as is every job that is not immoral, each in its own way). Every job has some relative value based on what it contributes to people's lives. At the least, it contributes a paycheck, which is plenty valuable! But not all jobs contribute equal value to society - hence, not all jobs are equally significant.

But that doesn't matter. People are all equally important regardless of what they do for a living. I have to believe that a teacher, a doctor, and a fireman provide more important services than the fast-food clerk and the trial lawyer.

"When people get onto a plane, they are trusting with their lives that the airline has made darn sure that thing won't fall apart. The manufacturers are REQUIRED to ensure that passengers won't die due to faulty workmanship. So if a factory in NY manufactures parts that perform well over time and keep a plane from plummeting to the ground, that is the very LEAST they should do."

I am sure that Cpt. Sully would agree that what you stated above was what he did when he saved the 155 and that it was his job to keep the people on board alive. I am sure that he agrees that it is the least he should have done.
Sage, I think that the only thing that we differ on is how big the difference between my example and Sully's example is. It is a question of indirect and direct action and how both have a significant impact on saving lives. I see a smaller distance between the two. That someone doesn't consider himself a hero, makes little difference. Many heroic people, by their own words, don't consider themselves such. That doesn't change the fact. It only influences a change in perception.

Directly or indirectly saving lives does not make someone a hero. We all do this every day of our lives simply by behaving morally. We are required not to hit other drivers on the road, not to defraud other people, not to let our children play with power tools. This is the very least that love requires of everyone.

A hero is someone who behaves with exceptional (extra-ordinary) courage to serve a high ideal, a worthy cause. By definition, heroism is uncommon. It is a category reserved apart from the normal, regular decency and morality that we all are required to keep all of the time. It is above and beyond the call of duty.

So I would hope and pray that the pilot of a commercial plane with all engines failing mid-flight would be able successfully to land that doomed machine. Morality only requires him to do his absolute best. Maintaining the poise, focus, and courage to successfully maneuver the incredibly difficult landing that Captain Sully did, with such flawless precision, while facing the immediate likelihood of his own death - that is above and beyond basic moral love. That's a hero.

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