Cruising Altitude of 33,000 Feet & …


Cruising Altitude of 33,000 Feet & Gaining Perspective

When I’m on a flight I can’t help but take in the wonder of altitude. I get to see things that others couldn’t imagine … and all I have to do is to remember to look up and look out the window.

How fortunate are we to get to travel by plane across vast landscapes and see the wonders of the world? If I were born 100 years ago I wouldn’t likely have been able to do this. If I were born somewhere else, or under different circumstances, I might not have had this opportunity either.

I was born and raised in Oregon (Go Ducks!!), and a point of pride for many Oregonians was the Oregon Trail. As I look out the window today it isn’t lost on me that a flight that will take me just a little over three hours to traverse would have taken my great-great-grandparents 4-5 months to trek in a covered wagon, and they would have risked everything to do it.

Gaining altitude to me means gaining a broader perspective. It means taking the opportunity to get out of the weeds … out of focusing only on the daily challenges we face and looking up and considering the possibilities that are out there for us if we just take a moment to do that. To challenge the limits we impose on ourselves.

To me, it also means to reflect upon how fortunate I have been, and not take any of that for granted. It certainly has as much to do with the luck of the draw as it does with anything I might have done. It’s really a crap-shoot where one starts in life. And I believe we can help those who haven’t had the same breaks we have if we gain a bit of altitude and consider how we can do that.

Individually, we probably can’t do much to fix the world. But we can make a positive impact on someone else’s life, maybe in some little way that might not even require a lot of us, but that can make a big impact on them.

And if we have been fortunate, I believe we owe it to others to pay it forward, in small or big ways, dependent upon our own ability to do that.

And collectively we can make the world better tomorrow than it is today.

On my daily Outlook calendar, right up at the top, I’ve posed this question to myself: “How are you moving the needle today to make the world better tomorrow?”  I look at it first thing in the morning, and at the end of the day. And no, I don’t move the needle every day … but I at least think about it twice a day.

Barry Blanton


“I’ve flown a lot, and I’ve learned it’s sunny every day; it’s just a matter of altitude and getting above the clouds”


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