Monday, March 09, 2009

520 Knowing What You Don't Know

520 Knowing What You Don't Know

Sometimes it helps when you ask for help.   If you're moving a piano, say, and you don't know much about moving a piano, might be a good idea to get hold of a piano mover.

Thing is, these days, we all seem to think we should be able to do absolutely everything.  Move a piano, paint a house, put on a new roof, perform microsurgery, write a symphony, invent a better mouse trap.

Some people -- even some micro-surgeons -- can't color inside the lines.

We guys -- and it's mostly guys -- think we're born with a do-anything gene.  There's no beast we can't tame; no situation for which we are unprepared.  And technology sometimes reinforces this idiot notion.  Case in point:  the GPS direction finder.  No guy ever asks for directions.  It's... well, it's un-manly.  With our handy-dandy Nextars, we never have to.

We are told that there are no limits, except when we self-limit our imaginations.  If you can see it in your mind's eye, you can do it.

Yeah, right.

This is how all KINDS of terrible things happen.

Back to the micro-surgeons.  Some people just ain't cut out for it.

Some people are just no good at deep sea diving.

Some people just shouldn't ski.

Some people who've never been in a war zone shouldn't start wars.

And some people who never saw a down-market should get out of the trading business. 

Sometimes we learn this early, which is a good thing.

Touch a hot stove once, you probably won't do it again.

When they throw you out of the Karaoke bar, you might learn that you ought not sing in public.

On the other hand, most of life is not that simple.

Developing your talent is noble.  Realizing you do not have that particular talent is equally noble.

Schooling sometimes helps, but often not.  Auto body repair men and women are born, not made.  So are makers of ukuleles and painters -- both house and portrait.

Dr. Peale would not approve of this.  He'd say "follow your dream."  Others might say "follow that dream even if it leads you over a cliff."



Shrapnel:

--Scientists at MIT have confirmed the Richards Theory of Paper Clips.  This theory states there is a finite number of them and they just keep recirculating.  They are not an endangered species, at least not yet.

--Scientists at Wonderland University have confirmed there's no such thing as cancer.  It's all a myth, they say.  They're now working on the possibility that this also may be true of heart disease and maybe even paper cuts.

--Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have confirmed that what goes up doesn't necessarily come down.  Just most of the time.  Someone gave the Director of the Up And Down Project some stock charts, which modified his view, but only slightly.

I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

1 comment:

John said...

Perhaps we're noa all DIY'ers, but there's something cultural there that should be examined.

Repairing things and getting utility out of investments by TRYING is pretty darn American.

Try stuff. and try hard.
Usually you don't have much to lose, and perhaps something to gain. Perhaps even some pride in doing something 'real'.

There's nothing noble about farming everything out without giving it the old college try first.