Potential

Last week I went to the premier of a short documentary about the creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Burners-Lee. Free but invite-only, the event was one of those strange only-in-DC experiences. The Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, showed up to give the intro. Whoever runs PBS was there in honor of the announcement that the documentary will be shown in PBS. Even the subject of the film, Sir Tim himself, was there. Our MC was a writer on the Daily Show who worked in the “telco” industry prior to entering the show biz – where the organizers rustled him up from I have no idea, but I’d say it was quite the coup. A four-piece smooth jazz band that serenaded us before and after the documentary while we enjoyed the open bar (!) and appetizers ( = dinner).

The documentary itself was actually pretty good as well. You can check out the trailer here if you like.

My favorite part, though, was the Q&A with Sir. Tim that followed the documentary. He came off as such a truly brilliant, bubbly, nice and humble person. What really stuck with me, though, was his answer to the question of what makes him happy when he wakes up. He paused for a long moment, muttered a bit, and then said louder, “There’s this story about Poo and Piglet,” and proceeded to tell us a version of the following quite animatedly:

***

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

-A.A. Milne

***

Sir Tim continued, (and I’m paraphrasing, for all those sticklers out there,) “So, breakfast. But what makes me happy is all the exciting potential and possibilities each day brings! There’s so much that could happen and that one could do.”

This idea has stuck with me. Since then, I have woken up each morning with even more gusto than usual, which is saying something for a natural morning person.