Amidst reports yesterday that leaders in the Democratic Party are calling for the resignation of Governor David Paterson and Rep. Charles Rangel, there was some good news – Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who piloted a US Airways flight which landed on the Hudson River in 2009, retired – on his own terms.
In announcing his resignation, Sully joined the ranks of the wise; those who know the secret of long lasting success and renown – knowing when to go. Folks like Oprah, Christopher Dodd, and Tony Dungy are in on the secret. There’s no scientific equation or formula. It’s simple – what goes up, must come down. It’s just a matter of when and how. It’s better to quit when you are on the top than to be brought down.
Sullenberger, 59, who joined US Airways’ predecessor airline in 1980, concluded his final flight yesterday when he landed flight number 1167 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in Charlotte (N.C.) in the same calm and reassuring manner as he landed Flight 1549 on the Hudson, saving the lives of all 155 people on board in what New Yorkers called the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’.
Charles Rangel, on the other hand, was forced to take a leave of absence from his post as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Why didn’t Rangel quit while at the top of his game like Sully did? Rangel, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1971, will be 80 years old in June. What else is there for Charlie to accomplish? He reached the top. He served well. After serving his 20th term in the House of Representatives and his second term as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, one would think that Charlie would have put in his resignation letter a long time ago.
But, he didn’t, and now there’s a smear on Rangel’s almost 40 years of public service. Retirement is not the end of the road. Well know retirees are able to maintain their lifestyles by doing things like writing books, giving speeches, teaching at universities, and consulting.
You got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away
Know when to run …..
Kenny Rogers, The Gambler
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