September 22, 2021

Million or Billion

Often times we think we know but we really don’t know.  Other times we really do know but we don’t have enough confidence in our assessment. And then there are those times when we really have no clue at all.  In the first instance, just accept it; we all make mistakes. In the second case, sometimes we are fortunate to realize that we were right all along or that we actually knew more than we gave ourselves credit for knowing.  And finally, an example of the “I-have-no-clue” premise can be found in people’s perception of just how much a million of anything is (think Dr. Evil’s paltry “one-million-dollar ransom” in Austin Powers).  Consider the following. Without using a calculator, how many hours/days is one million seconds?  

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Go ahead take a guess. I’ll wait…  

If you came within 24 hours of just over 11 ½ days, give yourself a point.  Now that you have that information, how long do you think a billion seconds would be?  Once again, we will wait for your guess.  Did you come up with 25 days? 111 days?  I doubt seriously you came remotely close to the actual answer…31 ½ years!  That’s right, years. Insert “mind blown” emoji here, lol.  Most folks can’t conceive of one million of something, let alone one billion of anything (which happens to be one million times larger than one million).  Here’s a sobering thought; few of you reading this would consider yourselves to be millionaires, yet most of you have earned $1 million in your careers.  If you have worked for 15-20 years or more averaging $50-66k/year, bingo. Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten there yet, it’s coming.


All this points to a simple set of truths: we can be right; we can be wrong; and sometimes we can have no idea at all.  In life you will experience all three.  The good news is that it’s ok.  You don’t have to be right all of the time.  There also will be times when we fall short, make mistakes, or share wrong information.  And there will be plenty of times when we are left feeling like we were clueless.  This should remind us of how others feel when they are in these same scenarios.  Try not to be too hard on yourself and especially on others when they make a mistake or are incorrect.  Celebrate with them when they are right, but keep it to yourself when you are proven right.   And marvel together when new (and maybe surprising) information is discovered.  Try this out.  It may make you and others, feel a million times better.

Stay well, stay safe, stay COVID smart, and continue to do good work,

Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr
Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr.
President, AABHE

"It’s all about the students"


Town Hall Next Wednesday, September 29th!