‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’, is a Popular Syndrome
I entered the office of my company and witnessed three distinguished gentlemen, including my boss – a retired
chief engineer discussing issues of diverse nature, and this made me curious. Every one was adamant to his reference and others had enough to counter every argument from the across the table.
Meanwhile, we started to talk of our project, and the Boss made a claim that he knows all about engineering.
He was ‘Mr. know that all’. As the project was being implemented, we faced a problem of a geological problem, and we sought the help of an Australian Field Expert. As the foreign expert met the Chief, the Chief said that he was the boss in almost every field. The expert was polite in response and said, ‘I know geology and I am concerned with that only’.
The conversation of the two men resonated in my mind and I was reminded of a statement made by a senior
Cricketer, who said, ‘Kashmir has abundant talent in Cricket, but the people here share a common problem. No one in Kashmir says that he is a batsman or a bowler; all of them say that they are all rounder. Even the best batsman says that he knows thodi-thodi bowling as well.
The same is true about our young boys and girls when they make a choice of subjects for their career. They take both biology and mathematics and argue that if I was not selected for MBBS, still I would be eligible foe B. Tech., and the facts remains the he fails to know either of the two subjects up to their depth. This ends up in a crisis in his/her life and the frustrations end of in the death of self confidence viz a viz his career.
As I discussed these concerns with my friends, one of them had a confident response. He said that we need to
be generalist than an expert. He argued that expertise won’t matter when it concerns to a broader situations faced by the people. He made a point that when we know a bit about all, it would armour us with more strength to face the variety in the reality. He quoted the situations of Kashmir and the deporting of rohingyas to prove that once we as people know little of the much, we face problems. He said that our expert on the working of the mobile towers falls flat when he faces mantras of business lobbies who use our emotional tendency to sell their products. He gave an example and said that if you go to Saudi Arabia and move for shopping and find all new names of products there except coca cola, we will buy the later as it has been ingrained into our sub conscious state of mind through propaganda effecting our emotions. He continued and sai, for every Rs 100 of petrol we pay nearly Rs 51.78 to GOI and if we don’t know this we cannever criticize the state. So knowing everything is a necessity.
My point is that awareness is a different thing than expertise. By expert we mean that a person is specialist in
his/her field and is able to guide with perfection on the related issues. It makes a case of policy making and that is where awareness is of no use. While having a general knowledge is always welcome, expertise is about specialization.
While we have institutions to teach medicine, politics, and other subjects, we must ensure that they produce the experts in their respective fields. And when a Doctor talks politics without knowing its depths, it makes things worse. The wisdom of the general knowledge is a product of an expert view. A society that hates to create experts creates confusions in the precision of general awareness. The accuracy of general awareness needs an expert. Well my point is that if you try to be best, you will be number one. But if you try to remain unique you will be the alone.
Had Afrdi and Inzimam focused on English than their skill, we would no memories of their excellent cricket.
Where it is appreciated that they speak like Shoib Akhter, it is basic they they express their expertise.
I would wish that our society understands the wisdom of the Australian Geologist and we start making sense.
Being ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ is a Popular Syndrome and it needs to be cured.
Author can be reached here Shabeee121@gmail.com