Thursday 22 June 2017

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Jack of all trades

I was going to make this article about the ever-growing list of those who are throwing their hat into the ring to run as MEPs. It seems that, these days, just about anyone thinks they have what it takes to not only run for politics, but represent us at European level to boot.

God Bless.

But then, I realized this is not just about the upcoming MEP elections – but about everything requiring a certain amount of competence or talent.

I am often taken aback at how presumptuous some people are, taking on 2, 3 and even 4 different roles without so much as batting an eye. You’re a singer? Go on, go for it, you can become a presenter or actor as well!

You’re a TV presenter? Why not re-invent yourself and become an actor? Come on, how hard can it be? Who cares that other people have spent years honing their craft, training and studying to be professionals; anyone can do it, it’s easy peasy right?

You were a journalist…well what’s stopping you?  Run for politics and forget starting with local councils, just go straight to the top! (The implication being that since you was reporting on politics up close for so long, it means you have the necessary background and vision and are capable of formulating national and even European policies yourself).

Of course, there are those who have crossed over from one profession to another and have made a success of it – but the type of people who have managed to do two things well (let alone three or more) are the exception, not the rule. They are that rare breed of all-rounders who do have the ability to shine no matter what they do, but even they have to usually decide to concentrate on one area, and let their other jobs fall by the wayside, in order to hone their skills.

Otherwise they are probably running on a complete lack of sleep and will eventually burn out. In the end, something will have to give, one of the jobs will not be done well, other people will be left to unfairly pick up the slack – not to mention the detrimental effect the wearing of all these different ‘hats’ will have on their personal life.

This is the same with people being appointed here, there and everywhere on all sorts of government boards and entities, irrespective of whether they can (a) do the job well (b) bring some form of knowledge and competence to the role (c) have enough time to juggle everything else they are involved in.

As I have often said, I really don’t care who these appointees vote for, my main concern is: are they competent in this particular field and will they actually deliver? If not, they should be shown the door, because really, this country has had its fill of political appointments of those who simply ride out the five years in cozy, cushy jobs while the problems which need to be fixed remain as they are.

I firmly believe that in this life, you cannot be a Jack of all trades. It is one of the pitfalls of this country that some people assume they can “do it all”, greedily hovering up every opportunity because “now is our chance”.

Choose one thing, and try to do it to the best of your ability, be the best you can be at it, and give it your 100%.  Giving a measly 25% (or even less) of your attention and time to something is just not good enough. Not if you want to be taken seriously that is.

  • Ramon Casha

    Well said, and another big example of this is that, if you know a subject well, it’s assumed that you’re also a good teacher of that subject.

    In the case of politics it’s a bit like one of those reality (sic) show where televoters get to “vote someone off the island” based on their unpopularity, looks, whether they have their own TV show or radio program, and so on.

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