Editor's Blog - Inspiration on a Monday Morning
Posted: Apr 23, 2012
Space shuttle commander Mark Kelly got things off to an inspirational start Monday morning with his talk about courage, strength and never giving up. While much of his talk centered on his wife, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and her courageous fight after a gunshot wound to the head during an assination attempt, he also spoke of flying combat missions and shuttle launches, and finding inspiration in his mother. "I learned the power of having some goals and a plan," he said, as he watched his mother strive to become a police officer in the male-dominated 1970s police forces.
When he met Gabby, Captain Kelly said, "she seemed like 10 women at once. I was the classic underachiever. She was the classic overachiever." When the attempt was made on his wife's life, Captain Kelly was in Houston at NASA. "I thought I was the one with the risky job, but Gabby was the one who ended up almost losing her life serving her country. There was no countdown, just my cell phone," bringing the terrible news. "Then, CNN and Fox News both reported that Gabby had died," he said, growing quieter and pensive, even more than a year after the incident. "I couldn't believe this woman I had loved so much had died just because she cared and was doing her job." For 30 awful minutes, this was the percieved reality, until the news came that she was actually in surgery.
A few other gems from his keynote:
- How good you are at the beginning of anything you try is not an indicator of how good you can become - when talking about his early struggles in flight school.
- You know what's worse than seeing that first missle? The second one. That really bummed me out - on flying combat missions during the Gulf War.
- There's never an excuse for not having accurate and timely communication with the people you work with - a lesson learned when flying over Iran without alerting anyone to his location.
- I look for risk-takers, people who are more comfortable asking for forgiveness than permission - on assembling his team.
- Most members of Congress would have been happy to be able to say, "I've been shot in the head, I'm not coming" - on Gabby's decision to go back to work and vote on raising the debt ceiling.
More to come! Stay tuned for more breaking news and pearls of wisdome from COLLABORATE 12.