Did you do your best?

I don’t watch a lot of game shows, but one I do enjoy is “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?  Based on that show, I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader – at least not now.

A week or so ago, I saw an episode of rerun that had brought tears to my eyes when it was first on the air and even though I knew the outcome, I watched it again.

The contestant was Cathy Cox, the State Superintendent of Schools for the State of Georgia.

You would hope that if anyone would be smarter than a 5th grader, it would be her. For those of you who have never seen the show, contestants are given questions to answer from various 5th grade subjects like U.S. history, geography, math, etc. They have a team of actual 5th grade students available to help them out when their confidence wanes.

The money Cathy would win would go to the schools of Georgia, not to her personally as in many episodes. She did a great job correctly answering each of the questions without the assistance of her young team mates.  She got all the way through the subjects and was then faced with answering the $1 million dollar question which she would have to do on her own.

If she missed it, she would take only $25K rather than the $500K she had accumulated. It was a big gamble. The stakes were high as was the tension in the studio.

Cathy decided to go for it.  The $1 million question was presented and she wasn’t positive of the answer. She reasoned it through, came up with her best guess and then right before she “locked it in”, she said “I did my best”.

Do you do your best?  Do you do your homework before a big meeting?  Do you think clearly and weigh the pros and cons of your decision?  Do you think big?  Do you dare to dream?  Do you trust your instinct and then act courageously?  Do you give everything your best shot?

Cathy did and she took $1 million dollars back to Georgia!  (My eyes are welling up again, just thinking about it.)

The audience cheered, hooped and hollered.  The 5th graders rushed to her side and lots of hugs and kisses and high 5s were exchanged.

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