Perspectives of… “the Other”

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PNG MEDIVAC FLIGHT

Perspectives of “The Other”

It has been a while since I last wrote anything on this pitiful blog. Not much to say I guess, or maybe a lot to say and fearful speaking out.

Flying a little jet can be a lot of fun. It still allows me to grace the flight levels, but my history of corporate and general aviation allows me to see so much more of humanity than I could have seen just as an airline pilot. In some ways a more privileged view now, but less pay than found in the airline world to be sure.

I have flown CEOs from some of the largest commercial institutions in the land, movie stars, sports legends and the like. I don’t prod those in my care with a lot of useless conversation, although from time to time there are some interesting exchanges.

My broader interest is in humanity. When I was flying in the mission world in PNG I more often than not was hauling around wounded native warriors slashed by the machetes of neighbouring villagers, or women who were in medical distress due to child birthing gone wrong. Those were tough trips as lives hung in the balance. I didn’t make any money at that job, but got a lot of satisfaction knowing that I may have made a difference in someone’s life for the good. Made some new life long friends too.

When I fly the CEOs I can see they are human too, as much as the native from the deep bush. Their life is a pampered existence in some ways. A limo to the door of the airplane, drinks on board, and executive airport and terminal that will attend to every bit of their travel needs.

Often these people are in a position to affect the lives of others in very real ways. Perhaps this is the day they are heading to a meeting to create thousands of jobs in a new venture. This will really change thousands of lives big time! Perhaps, though they are about to cannibalize another’s company in a hostile take-over and the cost in turn may be many thousands of jobs lost, lives destroyed. It can be a tough life if you are a CEO with a conscience.

I don’t know what goes through the minds of the CEOs and those who ride in the back of the corporate jet I fly. I wonder sometimes if they are even aware, or want to be aware of those issues in which are under their larger influence and as a consequence of their corporate decisions change lives of the many.

Like all of humanity, there can be found good and evil among them. I have shared my concerns of the world with a few highly placed people within our society and some have expressed an interest and genuine concern of those under their watch; they are the good. I have also noted some who quite frankly could care less about their fellow human beings. For them life is only about the bottom line; they are the evil.

Back to the developing world clientele, their lives are usually a matter of mere survival, their needs or more immediate. Food, shelter, and medical help in an immediate way. They may wonder how their river got polluted to the point they could no longer find edible fish within the deep because some tailings pond nearby leaked toxins. The ponds carelessly placed by big western industrial interests may have polluted the spawning grounds too with the result their traditional food source destroyed.

I wonder if I ever got both ends of the passenger/client spectrum on the same airplane at the same time what the conversation would go like. Likely, each unaware of the other’s plight. Perhaps not really wanting to know either of the other’s plight, because that might require an adjustment in their thinking and create some measure of responsibility for “the other”. That would be a good thing don’t you think?

Then Good Men Go To Die

Listen to the talking heads
Of those that understand

What is there that’s necessary?
To heal our troubled land?

We cannot tell the truth
Or hear the silenced cry
When good men say nothing
Then good men go to die

Once we were a principled people
And we took a principled stand

It seems much better now
To forget the troubled man

We cannot tell the truth
Or hear the silenced cry
When good men say nothing
Then good men go to die

Lock away all signs of sin
Make an example of them

Never look in the mirror
We’d see the face of terror

We cannot tell the truth
Or hear the silenced cry
When good men say nothing
Then good men go to die

Are we there to protect ourselves?
Or are we there to take?

We cannot set them free,
We live ourselves in slavery

We cannot tell the truth
Or hear the silenced cry
When good men say nothing
Then good men go to die

We won’t ask the questions that
Make them one of us

We pay lip service to our God
And In Our God WE Trust

We cannot tell the truth
Or hear the silenced cry
When good men say nothing
Then good men go to die

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