Risk as Possibility: A Futuristic View

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I am dating myself when I share this story.

I guess I do with every story.

When I was in first grade, my class, along with thousands of other classes around the country, watched a lunar landing on a fuzzy black and white television.  Even as a six-year old, that I was able to comprehend the impact of what I was watching.  I realize there are conspiracy theories out there that point to lunar landings having never happened.  I believe they did, so I am going to with the truth I believe.

As I sat in the classroom at Maybrook Elementary School, surrounded by my young classmates, a societal sense of pride and, I suppose, a youthful feeling of patriotism welled up inside us all. It was exciting to be a part of something that felt historical, even as it was happening . It was fun to watch advertising and television embrace where space technology was taking us. Between freeze-dried ice cream and Tang commercials to I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, and Star Trek, we were suddenly inundated with images of the Moon or Mars, with eating healthier or what was sold to us as healthier. We wanted to be smart or attractive and fit like the astronauts we saw on TV, whether they were real astronauts or simply actors in lucky roles. We wanted to be funny and lucky too, and we wanted to be good looking and strong.

Maybe we too could find a genie in a bottle or make a radio out of a coconut. Maybe we could soar above the clouds and imagine being beamed up when the going got too tough here on earth. As I sat at my 1st grade wooden desk, arranging and rearranging my books and crayons while the crackly reception showed up a man on the moon, I was taken in by the community of it all.  I think Bradley sat on one side with Stacy on the other and we were neighbors, in the truest sense of the word – fellow citizens of the planet. And it didn’t matter that we came from different families, diverse races, or religious backgrounds. It didn’t matter that my dad was a Culligan Man and Stacy’s dad was an attorney. We were all watching the same thing, at the same time. And most likely, experiencing the same feelings or thinking the same thoughts. How will this affect the future? What will this change?

Technology has a way of doing this.

When we approach a new frontier, when “the way things are” changes because they are no longer the way they were, then it is time to either excitedly embrace it or run for cover and continue to do things the same way they have always been done. That is until it is that way becomes obsolete or you can no longer buy Polaroid film or, God forbid, a paperback book.

Technology changes how we do business.

Technology constantly changes how we do business – from rotary dialing to touch screen, fax machines to computers to tablets, dial up modems to high speed fiber-optic to wifi, 3G to 4G to 5G and so on…

Exciting and scary.

Those who adopt early will be ahead of the game. Yes, there is risk. Landing on the Moon was risky. But so is drinking week-old milk. Don’t look at risk as a hazard or danger, look at it as possibility – possibility to accomplish something better than finding a genie in a bottle, tastier than a bright orange drink and greater than a lunar landing.   For even if that was fake, it was pretty darn cool.



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  1. Thanks for this article Rayanne. If you thought you were dating yourself, I was watching it sitting on a couch in a frat house at Stanford and later became a ‘Culligan Man’. 🙂

    Great writing.


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