A mother and child are walking on the beach. All of the sudden a huge wave raises up and crashes over them. When the waters recede, the mother realizes the child is gone. She falls to the ground and immediately shouts to the skies, “Please return my child unharmed. I will do anything, please just bring me back my child!” Just then, a large seabird appears from nowhere, swoops its feet down into the ocean, pulls the child from the surf, flies him to the mother and gently lays the child at her feet, unharmed. She turns her head to the sky once again and says, “You know, he had a hat.”

For me, this story points to our capacity for over-expectation. How we can sometimes look a miracle in the face and take it for granted. And it’s often said that when those things we take for granted stop working for a moment, it can throw us all for a loop. Think about the last time your car broke down, or the power went out.

With the latest news regarding Boeing and recent aviation incidents, some people have been thrown for a loop. Some of Quality’s coverage of the Boeing news lately have suggested a loss of the culture of quality and safety that was prevalent in Boeing, one that propelled Boeing to the status of one of America’s most trusted companies. Others have pointed to these latest incidents being on older airplanes, which points to maintenance issues rather than manufacturing ones.

Regardless, there is no lack of cautionary tales about what can happen when we lose our focus on quality and safety. It was not too long ago that we were captivated by the OceanGate Titan and its doomed voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic. The Quality Show South was just recently privy to a presentation by Dale Norwood and his experience as an NDT whistleblower. Author Joseph Sorrentino tells a story of the USS Thresher SSN 593. He began his training in NDT with mentors that were NDT inspectors during the USS Thresher’s shipyard work.

“One of these mentors shared with me the guilt he had due to him not being able to stop the higher ups from sending the Thresher out to sea that day. I have seen first-hand the heartbreak and torture my friend lived with for the rest of his life,” Sorrentino writes.

Like Joseph Sorrentino and Dale Norwood, it is important we hear these stories. It is important that we educate ourselves and others, if anything, to tell if we have indeed lost something and how do we get it back.

It’s why we offer you a profile of a few quality educators. As Managing Editor Michelle Bangert writes, “Ali Ghazi, Dr. Rochelle Cook, and Emil Hazarian showcase the many routes to quality—whether you start in Iran, Romania or the United States, quality has universal impact.”

So, check out Michelle’s article, “Continuously Learning,” Joseph Sorrentino’s article “The Importance of Quality Assurance and Safety,” and everything else we have to offer in this month’s Quality.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!