Mind is like a Parachute

I did my MBA from Department of Management Studies (DMS), IIT Delhi from 2002 to 2004. It’s been ten years since I graduated from B-School….One whole decade. When I try to remember what I had learned in B-School, a lot which was taught there but was not reinforced at my workplace (through work) have all long been forgotten. I was then trying to recollect what would be the number one quote or comment that I had heard at B-School. I didn’t have to think too long as I quickly recollected the quote given below made by one of our Assistant Professors during our Operations Management Class:

Mind is like a Parachute. It works only when it is Open

It is strange that I am recollecting this quote as my number one quote from my B-School days because this saying was ‘ridiculed/ made fun of’ a lot in our hostels in the days following the session in which our Assistant Professor made this comment. Strange life though, what gets ridiculed in one stage of our life gets praised in a subsequent stage. When I read this quote again and again it strikes me that these few words sound simple and generic at first but then it dawns on me that this quote is profound, almost magical. If the wisdom contained in these few words are understood and implemented by every single human being through every one of their actions then this world would be safer and better place.

As I was planning to write this blog, I searched in Google for the origin of this quote. This quote is attributed to Author Anthony J. D’Angelo and is taken from his book The College Blue Book: A Few Thoughts, Reflections & Reminders on How to Get the Most Out of College & Life published by Arkad Press in 1995. There is slight variation of this quote attributed to American musician Frank Zappa:

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.

Based on the timeline (Frank Zappa was born in 1940 and died in 1993 whereas Anthnoy J. D’Angelo was a graduate student in the early nineties and published the ‘The College Blue Book’ in 1995), I am assuming that Anthnoy J. D’Angelo was inspired by Frank Zappa’s ‘A mind is like a parachute’ quote and came up with his own modified version of the quote for his book. A collection of Frank Zappa’s quotes can be found at Good Reads. A collection of quotes by Anthnoy J. D’Angelo can be found here.

Note: The photo (by BANZ’ART) for this blog post is used under the creative commons license and was downloaded from Flickr.Mind_Parachute


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