A few weeks ago I was on a camping trip with Cub Scouts. It was one of the first trips the scouts had organized in the last year and a half. Due to concerns about the virus, many trips had been cancelled for these young ones.
This campout was special. Not only were the kids delighted to be together again, but this trip included the promise of an airplane ride.
We had arranged for three pilots (including myself) to conduct flights that morning. We had promised each kid a ride, taking just one or two at a time, offering them a chance to see the world from above. Having that experience at any age is unforgettable!
The skies were clear, the air was cool, and everything looked perfect. Then the wind picked up. And the clear skies belied just how turbulent the air was.
I’ve been in that situation before. Part of pilot training is learning how to make sound judgements. Some might argue it’s the most important part of pilot training. Many aviation accidents can be traced back to a moment when the pilot allowed external pressures to weigh too heavily on the mind. The thinking that says “but I’ve just got to get there” has lured many pilots into bad weather, or worse.
So there we stood with cute little cub scouts gathered around, all eager to go fly. I braced for disappointment as we gave an impromptu weather lesson about high pressure systems and winds aloft. They followed along dutifully until we got to the main point which was this:
Scouts, if we must choose between what we want to do and what we need to do, which is the better choice?
Relieved that all the scouts agreed, we spent the rest of the day letting the kids run around outside playing tag and simply just being kids. It was great to see how quickly they moved on from any possible sense of disappointment. A couple of parents thanked our small pilot group for all the efforts, and especially for the “life lesson” about choices.
This past year’s been full of opportunities to make decisions. I’m sure for all of us, some of those have not been easy ones. While this year nears its’ end and we prepare for the next one, my wish is that you have the fortitude to face each decision with inner strength and make the best decision possible with the information at hand. May your next moment of choice be a precious one, and may it lead to many more. Here’s to a bright 2022!
As president, Daniel leads the team at TRP Enterprises to help inspire and uplift through world-class training programs.