During the past few years I have developed a terrible fear, and that is the fear of flying.
Now I love to fly. I do. I've dreamt of flying since I was a little girl. I love to be up high. I even love the snow ski chair lifts at their detrimental heights with only a bar in between you and the free fall down to certain death. I love parasailing. I love rock climbing. I love repelling. I've never bungee jumped but I want to someday. Not so sure about parachuting from a plane, but you get my drift.
I've been flying since I was tiny. I remember being on a very crowded plane when I was about 5 years old, maybe 6. It was storming that night and for some reason I had to sit across the aisle from my mom, next to this tall, burly type wearing a cowboy hat. We were in the back of the plane, and I had an aisle seat, so I could see all the way up the aisle. A man with the shiniest bald head I had ever seen was sitting half way towards the front, in an aisle seat on the other side. I watched him call the flight attendant over and order a glass of water. And then, it being a very bumpy ride due to the storm, as the flight attendant handed him the glass of water, the plane made a sharp dip down at an incredible rate. The man's water, which was at this time being transferred from the flight attendant's tray into his hands, leaped up and SPLAT, right on the top of his shiny head. He chuckled as the water dripped down his very red face. I lost it from the back of the plane and started laughing so loud that the whole plane, including the bald man and my new cowboy friend, started laughing at me.
So, see, I didn't use to be afraid. I was laughing it up in the middle of a huge storm. Why now? Why do I find myself gripping the seat as we take off, praying....Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord....over and over again. White knuckles. Eyes forward. Imagination going wild. Recalling the first episode of Lost when the plane suddenly RIPS in half and people are flying OUT INTO OPEN AIR. I imagine the breathing masks popping down from above, me reaching for the mask, gasping for air. I imagine the ground getting closer and closer, faster and faster. I imagine trying to call my husband as the plane is spiraling out of control to say my last good bye. I kid you not. Almost every time I fly now.
And this is why. I now know that every thing that operates correctly on this earth does so because people are doing their jobs. Excluding what only God can control, obviously. But everything that man has put into motion works well only when people are doing their jobs well. And what I've learned since entering the workplace is that people do not always do their jobs well. Therefore, why should I trust that pilot? I wasn't smart enough to know this as a little girl. But NOW, I'm intelligent enough to know that this guy could screw up. Sure, you can tell me that it's all computers, these planes nowadays. But that doesn't make it any better. Look what happened to the stock market a couple of weeks ago. And you could say like my percentage-speaking dad that "statistically considered, you are safer on a plane than in a car. There are more wrecks in cars than in planes." Well sure, but you don't automatically die if you're in a car wreck. Plus, there are millions of more cars than planes so statistically speaking, of course that's true.
I'm sorry, but this is just the truth. The moral of the story: Let's all make sure we do our jobs well.