I once reviewed some promotional material for LASIK surgery. The video was from a partnership of opthamologists that specialized in that type of surgery. One of their biggest selling points was the hefty years of combined experience of the group.
They went on to even brag that no one on their team had less than some number of years (I don’t remember for sure but I think it was at least 5 years). I thought it was great they could have such an experienced team, but I grew concerned when one of the senior partners said, on the video, that he believed you should never get LASIK surgery performed by someone who did not already have years of experience.
I thought this was a strange thing to say. It angered me.
How could someone ever get any experience, in a world where only those with prior experience get the chance?
How did this fellow talking justify his early days, his first experiences? Should those patients have never let him perform those first surgeries? Taken one step further, why should someone ever let a surgeon with 5 years of experience operate on them, when there is a surgeon with 6 years of experience also available?
Can’t we culturally make room for people just starting out?
Can’t we allow others into the game, even if they are going to make some mistakes along the way?
Where is the novice in our cultural story? Where is the space for the person showing up, failing, and still showing up again.
We need a retelling of Rocky, of someone going the distance, irrespective of whether they win or lose.