Expertise - Everyone Has It

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
Everyone has ability and value, for those who feel they have neither, hopefully you can be motivated.

Submitted: September 27, 2016

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Submitted: September 27, 2016



Loti and I were conducting an environmental seminar at a remote rural school and I surprised him! I loved surprising him because he was the serious one of our two-man team who provided the basic information while I was the one that conducted the role plays with an attempt at humour. Well we didn’t want the kids to doze off, did we?

There is no Mother Nature in the Swahili culture, the wonders of nature is simply God’s work. I had a raft of ways of describing the wonders of nature, Gods work, to the kids as my way of getting them to be interested in and take care of their environment. The day I surprised Loti was when I told the kids each one of them was a part of nature, unique and in fact a part of God’s work.

I asked Loti to stand beside me in front of the class and said, ‘Look here at Loti, he is a part of God’s work, of His planning since the birth of mankind. Look at him, he is a handsome fellow, the same as all of you,’ giggles, ‘no different. The amazing thing is God gave him a nose and two ears, without that design, how would he wear glasses? At creation God mush have known his eyes would deteriorate and prepared well for it.’

As well as the uniqueness of nature, I tried to impress on them all that each one of them had value because they were unique, a part of nature and able to contribute the care of the environment. The planet is in their hands!

Now maybe my philosophy largely fell on deaf ears, and few there took the slightest bit of notice. But because I surprised Loti, and embarrassed him, some kids will have told their parents, or teachers told other adults, and perhaps one person might be motivated, even inspired. Who really knows? But look, for years I have been critical about Brazil, causing climate change by the cutting of the Amazon rainforest, my plea has always been for governments to lobby Brazil about conservation! But remember at the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio? Brazil has begun a strategy to replant forests – nothing to do with me, mind – they, the people understand the need.

I meant what I said about the uniqueness of nature including every human being on this planet and while there may be a huge range between anyone’s conceptions of good, bad or otherwise, there is something in our uniqueness that is worth celebrating. And that’s because all of us can do things! Call it expertise if you like.

We are at present witnessing a competition for the top job in the USA, some might say the world, and because of the importance of that nation, we are fed news bulletins about the candidates on an hourly basis! Bah humbug! One side says the other is nuts, and a fortune is wasted in the whole process that is supposed to be democratic. But when you get down to it, what expertise do these people have? As an observer, I’m not sure which is most important to any of them, being a world leader, or managing a country. The world is not doing too great and nor is their country. Leaders cannot identify with their county’s population if they haven’t shared their experience! Old Mugabe is an example! His life is very different to the rural poor of Zimbabwe, he has no idea what daily life is really like for them!

Expertise comes out of experience, it is learned. Going back to the simple task of planting and tending trees. Through trial and error I have seen many people become experts of their own volition, and even modify techniques for better outcomes. Of course some disciplines, such as brain surgeons, need specialist training, but sometimes higher education does not necessarily teach expertise. My mate, Jimmy worked as a mechanic, his boss saw potential in him, even though he could barely read or write, yet he was able to strip our D6 bulldozer down, every nut and bolt, to fully restore it!

Another good friend of mine, actually, come to think of it two of them, one a Maasai man and the other a Kiwi colleague, both of them at certain times in their lives were faced with a broken computer. Both taught themselves to repair and become experts at diagnosing faults and even writing programmes. No previous experience.

It matters not what anyone’s personal belief, race, gender, size or whatever constraint a person may feel they have, the thing is everyone has a uniqueness, thus ability and can actually do stuff. If you go back to the job description of what most people would wish of their president, prime minister or country’s big noise, the list would be something like this: honesty, fairness, diplomacy, integrity, compassion and common sense – better toss in some logic too. And you know, over half the population fits that description! The path the contenders tread is somewhat different, requiring bulging pockets and minions that do not seem to know any better.

Back in the day, the forest industry and the horticulture industry did not pay a high hourly rate, and a good many of the people I had a hand in employing were school leavers who had nothing better to do or people sent to by the labour department because they wanted them off the dole queue. When I interviewed them, I would tell them that the work did not suit everyone and that after three weeks we would have another chat because they might not like us, and we might not like them. If required we can part company with no ill feeling. Some of those people were difficult, and did prove unsuccessful, but the majority learned from the experience, and took on new skills – the main one being getting out of bed in the morning and working an eight hour day, in a word, discipline.  Most left within a year or so to go on to better paying jobs. Was the training we put into them wasted? I don’t think so, sure it meant that we were in a constant phase of training but when people move on to better things that’s a positive outcome.

Tertiary education is big business, it occupies the time of a lot of people and while people are being educated, they usually don’t need jobs. Whether or not that’s cost-efficient, I have no idea, though I’m dubious. Following a passion, can be a really good thing, but few manage to step from study to employment that follows their passion. Passion though does make a good hobby and I have seen people create businesses from the expertise they pick up through following their hobby-cum-passion. What employers really look for is attitude. And again everyone can develop (if they put their mind to it)  a good work ethic and attitude. Employers generally will train their people, they want work done their way, the last thing they need is to be told how to run their business! It may be the business does need to make changes, that’s where attitude comes in! New brooms might sweep clean but sweeping the boss the wrong way sure is counterproductive!

Most of us need a sense of fulfilment in our lives and that comes from tossing out negativity and encompassing positivity, there is always something positive to do if you look for it! For a start, go outside and take a deep breath, it will do you good, then pick up some littler and deposit it, there you have done something for the planet! Don’t be afraid of trying things and remember, always remember those political candidates have no better qualifications than you!

I guess if you have read down to here, you don’t need me to motivate you!  But for those who are anxious about what they can or can’t do, anxiety is your own invention and you something you can opt out of!

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