Mar. 4, 2019

Life and Learning

Harold, a late aviation friend spoke up with a compliment on a short article I had posted in our little monthly paper which was circulated in the local Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA Chapter 1061 back in the 1990s. As the meeting was coming to a close Harold looked at me and stated. "Too bad you missed your calling". Why do you say that I asked? He responded, "Good article, you wrote".                                            

How often do we categorize people of varying and maybe unimpressive backgrounds? I said to Harold, "What makes you think I missed my calling"? I understood his compliment and thanked him for it. I was a professional product relocator, (fancy description for a truck driver). What few imagine is a creative twist to the story. I viewed my professional occupation as a "rolling university", being paid for my service while educating myself to be a better servant to mankind. Having been a school teacher, a pulpit minister, and a few other things there was a great opportunity to listen to instructive, educational, professional, business, spiritual themes while driving and being handsomely rewarded monetarily as well. It was an adventure.

The article Harold was complimenting had to do with the subject of learning. Professional pilots were not eager to be classified as "student" pilots. That idea was expressed in our primary textbook, The Student Pilot's Handbook. Too good a book to be classified as a mere learning tool for student pilots. Once a person through pride or ego learns that life is really a learning process such a title is not so bad even for the best aviators. We continue to learn or start dying. It is true that upon earning a pilot's license one has a license or privilege with more freedom to come and go without having to ask an instructor for a "sign-off" to pierce the "wild blue yonder". After acquiring the license education had better not stop. So my point in the impressionable article was that we never stop being a student. That's just the nature of life, one never stops learning. That should apply to all six major areas of life (emotional, financial, mental, physical, social, spiritual). The moment one stops learning dying sets in.

The accompanying photograph is of my brother, Giles' second homebuilt aircraft since I haven't gotten around to posing my previously owned factory built Taylorcraft 1946 model BC 12D NC95809. Maybe I'll get to that later! Until then, trust me, life is about the adventure of learning in order to increase our value in service to humankind. If you ever entrust your life to a pilot beware if he or she has stopped being a student!