It’s my day off. I woke up at 5 am. On the one hand, getting too little sleep on my day off isn’t so bad because I don’t have to sustain my energy for a full day of work. On the other hand, it’s my day off.
Here are some of my thoughts on this Monday morning.
On ‘Experts’: Heavens, in my trips through the blogisphere or on the web in general, I see a lot of people who have dubbed themselves ‘experts.’And no doubt some of them are, indeed, experts. But everyone? No and no and no. To me, being an expert implies that person has years of training and experience and a wealth of knowledge at his/her fingertips. Experts know a subject matter or have mastered a skill just about better than anyone else. Right? It shouldn’t be a title that is donned as easily as a pair of shoes.
I’ve worked in the theater for over 35 years – as an actress and as a professor and professional coach. I’ve worked with some of the most respected actors and directors in the world, including Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winners. I’m very good at what I do. I know a lot about my field. But I don’t know everything. I would never use the words ‘field of expertise’ to describe my work because I would never dream of calling myself an expert. It feels more than a bit grandiose.
I realize that this stems from the everyone-for-himself, gotta-get-my-work-out-there, gotta-do-something-to-separate- myself-from-the-pack atmosphere on the internet, where there are simply too many people vying for recognition and employment. The sheer number of bloggers out there is staggering, as are the number of business websites. How do you separate yourself from the rest? Claim to be an expert.
If you truly are, more power to you. You’ve earned it through years of work and research and experience on the job and trial and error and positive feedback from your clientele or your students. But personally, I know very few people who, despite their years of work in a particular field, would ever dream of claiming the title of expert.
Humility is a good thing.
On intolerance: I have no patience for those who judge others and deem their religion or their lifestyle or their ethnicity or their skin color as something wrong or ‘less than.’ Look, there isn’t one of us who hasn’t judged another. We do it all the time, often unconsciously. It is something that I work on all the time. But all judgment comes from a place of fear; fear of the unknown, fear of those who look different than us, fear of a lifestyle we don’t understand. I find it interesting that a lot of condemnation comes from those who cloak their judgment in their religion. Goodness knows, anyone can cherry pick the Bible or the Koran or the Talmud to ‘substantiate’ their claims of superiority or of being on the absolute right side of an issue. I always find that sort of thing very telling, that selective choice of verses to quote. But I have to believe a loving Supreme Being or Divine Energy or God or Allah or Buddah or whatever name you give it loves all of us. Period.
Now I have to think about judging those who judge. And about being impatient. The struggle continues.
This is all I need to live my daily life in a way that I feel is right and good:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Oh goodness. I know I’m on my soapbox. “If I ruled the world” – remember that song? I’m sort of kidding but sort of not kidding. If I ruled the world, people would get awards for niceness and kindness, for honesty, for being inclusive rather than exclusive, for compassion, for modesty, even for being too modest, (which is far more attractive than grandiosity) for humility. There would be a healthy level of competition, but only healthy, nothing obsessive or cutthroat. There would be no cliques. And, of course, there would be no bullying, no fighting, no war, no rewarding of bad behavior, no animal abuse, every child would be loved and have a loving home, every animal that’s lost would find a loving home, we would live in peace with our animal friends, we would live in peace with our fellow man – no matter what religion, ethnicity, color, gender or sexuality. We would live by the Golden Rule and, really, if that was the code we truly lived by, these things would be an everyday reality for all of us.
This is what happens when I wake up too early. I think. I worry. I write.