Against Impossible Odds
Being in peace is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Adopt the right attitude, and anything is possible.
An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Chennai, India.
There is this saying, “What can little old me do? Nothing.” Right, “What can I do?” You know, don’t look at it as what you can “do.” Just be in peace. Would you consider that as one of the most powerful things that you can do? If we could just make that the fashion, it wouldn’t take so long. It wouldn’t take so long.
You know, it’s like, there are predators in this world, right? Lions and cheetahs and all of those. And then, there are the ones that are at the bottom of the food chain, sort of to say—the poor zebras and all this stuff. But do you know one thing? There are a lot less predators in this world.
It’s not that—they are, they’re there, and they’re powerful—but they are a lot, lot less than the prey. I mean, you look at some of those documentaries sometimes—it’s just thousands and thousands and thousands of zebras. And even if there are just like, fifty lions, there is a natural proportion to it.
Okay, so there are, you know, a hundred thousand fish, and one shark. There’s a proportion to it. And it’s the same way. There is a lot, lot, lot that is good. Yes, there is bad. But this is why I am hopeful that it wouldn’t take much to turn it.
But all I see is disbelief. “No, it cannot…. Peace? Never!” Okay, so if you’re that intelli-gent, why don’t you figure out a way how to make it work rather than just make this incredibly dumb observation, “It cannot work”?
You know, what do you expect a pilot sitting in the cockpit to be doing?—telling you “We’re all going to die”? Or, “We’re working on it”? And what would you honestly like them to be doing? Just singing in the cockpit, “We’re all going to die, we’re all going….”—or…or actually be like, trying to, you know, read some checklists and figure something out to make this thing fly.
That’s what it takes sometimes—and it happened. I was watching a documentary where they were flying along, and one of the engines threw its propeller, and it lodged into the fuselage and almost severed all the flight controls. And whatever was left was jammed between the prop and the floor, and so they could hardly make this airplane turn. They could use a little bit of differential thrust, but then the plane started going down, and it was like….
And this one guy, one copilot, was just sitting there and he just, “Arrrrgh!”—and muscle it, and muscle it, muscle it, muscle it. And, after like, forty-five minutes of muscling, he managed to take his cable and rub enough of a groove that he could actually have a little bit of control.
And I mean, this crew did an incredible job. They brought that airplane and put it on the ground in one piece. Why? Because they weren’t singing, “We’re all gonna die; we’re all gonna die; we’re all gonna die.” And that plane was full of passengers.
But they were…they actually were trying and trying, and it was against impossible odds. And it was the same thing that happened to a 380. That was not in the book. The engine tore and took, you know, a part of the wing with it. And, you know, it’s just like, it was not in the book.
And when the engine, all the controls to it—which were electronic—severed, the engine wanted to be in full power, and it was in full power mode. But they kept their heads; brought it down; put that airplane on the ground; got it stopped.
And I have to say, the kindness and the intelligence of the captain was unbelievable. He knew that that engine—after they landed and they got the plane down—was still running full tilt. And he knew that, because of the wing which was ruptured, all the fuel was all over the place.
He says, “You know what? I’m not going to deploy the slides, and have my passengers wade through fuel. I’m going to wait till they bring the staircase.” And he sat there. He said, “We’re fine; we’re alive; everything is good. I’m not going to further make the passengers uncomfortable.”
They brought the trucks; they brought the ladders; everybody deplaned right into the bus. And I was like, this is cool! Not only has he just saved them from a catastrophe, he continues to think of their comfort.
So, this is what you need to adopt as an attitude—you need to adopt. Not sit there and go, “Yeah, it’s impossible. And it’s impossible.” And if you’ve got enough intelligence to figure out that it’s impossible, I’m sure you have enough intelligence to figure out how it is possible.
And maybe it will be nothing more than to be in peace with yourself. A lit lamp can do what an unlit lamp cannot do. A lit lamp can light other lamps. Light up!
– Prem Rawat