“Let me get this straight: you think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands, and your ‘plan’ is to blackmail this person? Good luck!”
– Lucius Fox, The Dark Knight
Best scene in the movie, I say. 🙂
A young man, capable with finances, stumbles onto a massive, powerful secret, and his first impulse is to cash in, big time. He’s worked hard, he’s smart, he deserves something, right? So he approaches his target, makes his case, establishes his superior position (he thinks), and makes his demand.
Said demand, and everything else, is utterly demolished with the above quote, and it is glorious.
Not to mention funny! It’s the unspoken realization that the would-be blackmailer has utterly failed to think this through that makes this scene so hilarious, as he realizes just how badly this could end for him. He did not stop to consider what might go wrong, envisioning only that everything would go right. Greed makes for haste, it would seem, and, as a very old adage observes, haste makes waste.
It always pays to take a moment ask yourself, “Is this a good idea?”
Okay, maybe not always, like if the building is on fire and the only way out is through the window. Then again, as vital as speed may be, if it’s feasible to grab the nearest mattress and take it out with you to cushion your fall with, or use drapes as a rope to lower yourself a bit more gently and shave off some of the actual falling, or something like that… well, there are worse ideas!
It is usually a good idea to stop and think as much as possible.
When you are about to embark on some grand plan that will yield magnificent results if successful, that is an excellent time to stop and ask yourself how it can go wrong. That’s what professionals do, in every field, and in every endeavor. They look for what can go wrong and they prepare against it. If they can’t prepare, they at least weigh the risks of failure, and then they prepare for failure, to soften the blow as much as possible.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, as they say.
Is it possible to overthink things, to overdo it and prepare too much? Yes, moderation in all things is the ideal. Still, I’d rather be loaded for dinosaur while facing a bear than loaded for bear and find myself facing a dinosaur. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to be ready for a swarm of insects, too. 😉
It is certainly a good idea, when challenging someone or something far more powerful than yourself, to stop and scheme a bit, rather than just charging in head-on. That is, if you want any chance at success, at least, rather than ending like a fly casually swatted out of the air.
Walking into an office to blackmail Batman without a second thought qualifies one much more for the latter.
Have I mentioned how much I love this scene? 🙂