“Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do or what not to do.” Jonas Salk

As I was reflecting on the state of science in the modern world, I was called to remember these words. Bearing in mind that Salk went directly against the conventional wisdom of the age in order to produce his great achievement, I am prompted to ask what might inspire him. Such resilience and determination; one might question how he managed to do what everybody around him had told him was impossible and even wrong. Perhaps it is an example of how only unreasonable people are the only ones who change the world…
Really, he wasn’t that creative. He saw something that was working in one domain and simply applied it by analogy to another domain. What distinguishes him to me was that he saw possibility where others didn’t, and he had the tenacity to make that vision real.

Let us be grateful that most kids today don’t even know what polio is…

One comment on “Risks

  1. Being unconventional has some good merits. Too often pecking orders and conformity disallow for achievement and ambition. The problem I feel today is that people feel that standing out and being challenged is something to be afraid of. Sometimes and quite often experimentation is a means of being creative. I think taking on risks can be fun and a good challenge at the same time. If Benjamin Franklin didn’t fly a kite into an electrical storm would he have not discovered electricity without the fear of being zapped by a lightening strike? Would have Houdini not undertaken his escapes without the fear of drowning? In Houdini’s case a lot of people saw and were amazed at his escapes so perhaps his walking on the dangerous side was a great thing for so many people?

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