James Dean was cool. So was "the Fonz" (and by default, so is Henry Winkler). On Thursday we met 155 people who are much, much cooler. There has already been a lot written about the heroics of Pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III and the other heroes among the crew, passengers and rescuers. There has already been a lot written about the role of Twitter and citizen journalism in the early coverage of the events as they unfolded on the surface of the chilly Hudson river. As someone who casually (and at times emotionally) observed the now eponymous "Miracle on the Hudson" I want to take a moment to acknowledge a slightly different angle. Cool?
CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
What amazed me about Flight 1549 was how cool everybody was. Moments after the flight was ditched into the Hudson the passengers were calmly gathered on the wings, seemingly walking on water, as they awaited their rescue. I can only imagine with horror how different the outcome might have been had this amazing group of individuals not kept their collective cool. What would have changed if there was panic, pushing and shoving, fear and "freaking out" rather than the orderly cooperation that, by all accounts, ensued.
THE HAPPY ENDING
There are probably many good lessons to be learned from all angles of the flight of US Airways 1549 and the perfectly executed (and thus successful) rescue operation. The lesson I am taking away from it is the importance of being cool, no matter how dire things may seem to be. This courageous crowd of strangers had the wisdom, wherewithal and good instinct to stay cool when faced with a true life or death challenge, and in the end there was a happy ending. Now that's cool!
As we all face our own share of life's challenges and moments when things look like they are on the verge of falling apart we should remember the passengers, pilots and crew of Flight 1549 and just like them, stay cool. I suspect that no problem, large or small, was ever solved by stress, panic or fear. It's good to be cool!
What do you think?
Photo Credit © Oleg Ivanov - Fotolia.com