Compare and Contrast

People never cease to amaze me. It was just about two weeks ago that US Airways flight 1549 made its remarkable landing in the Hudson River. That there were no fatalities was due entirely to the skill, professionalism, and can-do attitude of the pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the crew, the passengers themselves, and the many rescuers who all pitched in to help in a situation that could be described as dire at best. New York at its finest, one might say.

Both of the following articles come via USA Today, and they both have quite a bit to say about how different people view the world, especially after surviving such an ordeal:

Story the first (from FlightGlobal as reported by via USA Today), attributed to Gerry McNamarra, a Flight 1549 passenger:

“…There is a great deal to be learned including: Why has this happened to me? Why have I survived and what am I supposed to do with this gift? For me, the answers to these questions and more will come over time, but already I find myself being more patient and forgiving, less critical and judgmental.

For now I have 4 lessons I would like to share:

1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to keep your promises.
2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don’t worry about the things you don’t have.
3. Keep in shape. You never know when you’ll be called upon to save your own life, or help someone else save theirs.
4. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when you’ll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and pajamas and of absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.

(Note: I haven’t been able to verify comprehensively that Mr. McNamarra wrote this, but it was published on FlightGlobal, which usually covers serious airline industry news, and linked by USA Today. Caveat lector.)

Now let’s take a peek at the mindset of another passenger (also from USA Today, via Rachel Lucas), shall we?

Many US Airways (LCC) passengers who endured a crash landing in the Hudson River 12 days ago say they appreciate the $5,000 that the airline has offered — but some say it’s not enough.

Joe Hart, a salesman from Charlotte who suffered a bloody nose and bruises, says he “would like to be made whole for the incident.”

It’s too soon after the accident to determine what emotional distress he has suffered, he says…

In addition to recovering losses, Hart says he’s concerned about having trouble flying. He’s flown on six planes since the accident, and each flight has gotten “progressively more difficult.”

He says he was tense, sweated and “felt every bit of turbulence” on a Los Angeles-to-Philadelphia flight last week, though it wasn’t that turbulent a flight.

Hart says he has talked to a lawyer in North Carolina but hasn’t decided whether to take any legal action.

“I want to see how things play out with US Airways,” he says. “I’m hopeful US Airways understands the significance of the incident.”

I guess you’re either a “glass-half-full” kind of person or a “glass-half-empty” type of person. I know which one I am, and I know which type I prefer.

Exit question: which of the people above enjoys life more? Second exit question: Are they both Republicans? Democrats? Or one of each? I don’t  know, I’m just askin’.


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