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All About Parachutes

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Suppose you happen to be one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute. How would you react? Guess what? Everything depends on how you look at things.


  • Pessimist: You refuse the parachute because you might die anyway on the way down.
  • Optimist: You refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before.
  • Procrastinator: You play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.
  • Bureaucrat: You order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.
  • Lawyer: You charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.
  • Doctor: You tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.
  • Sales Executive: You sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue Service Agent: You confiscate the parachute along with their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.
  • Engineer: You make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.
  • Scientist: You give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on how well it worked.
  • Mathematician: You refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.
  • Philosopher: You ask how they know the parachute actually exists.
  • English Major: You explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.
  • Computer Science Major: You design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.
  • Economist: You plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals, how much they would pay for a parachute.
  • Psychoanalyst: You ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.
  • Drama Major: You tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.
  • Artist: You hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.
  • Environmentalist: You refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.
  • Sports Fan: You start betting on how long it will take to crash.
  • Auto Mechanic: As long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.
  • Surgeon General: You issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to one’s health.
  • Association of Tobacco Growers: You explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown that jumping out of a plane is NOT harmful to one’s health.

I took this from the Groaner’s List website to show you that we tend to look at a situation not according to what it is but according to who we are.

All About ParachutesThis is why it is important to accept that we are all biased people. Colored by our own convictions, prejudices, environment, education, and beliefs.

So the next time we start pronouncing judgment on anyone, we must first look at ourselves in the mirror to figure out why we’re seeing things the way we see them. And then we must pray that God would give us the discernment needed to study a particular situation.

Print ed: 11/10


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