Thank You for My Life

The other day I saw the movie Sully. I knew before I gazed up at the screen that it would be good. I absolutely love Tom Hanks, and when I heard about Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landing his US Airways plane in the Hudson River and saving everyone on board back in 2009, I was absolutely stunned. So any movie that combined that story with that actor was bound to be excellent. And I was right. I highly recommend it.

But it really got me pondering the impact of saving multiple lives. Think about it. If your heroics mean that 155 people still roam the planet and they wouldn’t have otherwise, then every good thing they do moving forward is thanks to you. And every child they have after that is because of you. In a few short generations, you are responsible for the existence of at least a thousand people. That’s an incredible impact. It must be awfully hard to wrap your head around that.

If I had been on that flight, every year on the anniversary of the crash I’d write a letter to Mr. Sullenberger, and the first line would be, “Hello again, and thank you for my life.” Then I’d go on to tell him all the good things I had done or had tried to do in the past year. And then I would say that the only reason those things were possible was that he was the man piloting that plane on that day, and that I’d never forget what a gift my life is.

I wonder if anyone does that for him. I hope they do. He deserves it.


Start a gratitude practice today. Read my book.

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