We have, at our disposal, a captive audience of schoolchildren. Some of them don’t go to the blackboard and raise their hand ‘cause they think they’re gonna be wrong. I think you should say to these kids you think you get it wrong sometimes, you should come down here and see how the big boys do it. I think you should tell them you haven’t given up hope, and that it may turn up, but in the meantime, you want NASA to put its best people in the room, and you want them to start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh, and most of them won’t care, but for some, they might honestly see that it’s about going to the blackboard and raising your hand.
– Press Secretary CJ Cregg to President Jed Bartlett, on the eve of meeting with selected school children in time for the supposed Mars probe of US spacecraft Galileo V which went missing 11 minutes before its landing on the red planet.*
I am not simply quoting from the show. When I heard it, it made me think about making the most out of going to the blackboard and raising my hand. Frankly, I’ve done lots of those in my career already. I realized that it’s not about the frequency but the appropriate opportunity of going in front and raising my hand that matters in the end. Timing, timing is everything. In short, I should take more risks because I may be actively moving but it’s still within the safe confines of my cocoon. At this rate, if and when I fail, I have practically nothing to lose because I am in a good place. See, checking out barns still within the same farm isn’t too bad a prospect. Nothing wrong with moving on. That is, if I can successfully prove I deserve to move forward. I have to find that one out.
*From The West Wing Season 2 Episode 9, “Galileo:, teleplay by Aaron Sorkin and Kevin Falls