16 November, 2009

What's so bad about being a Jack of All Trades?

I've often heard the saying "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" and have been wondering whether it is in fact a useful expression in today's society.

I like to consider myself to be a "Jack of All Trades", being very interested in Music, Science, Art and Languages, and believe this to be a good reason for how enjoyable my life has been so far.  I think that an appreciation of all things builds a better person.

But what about the "Master of None" part?

This idea pleases me very much because I believe that however much we study something we cannot become anywhere near the master of it. Isn't it egotistical to think of ourselves as masters of anything? I know that sometime soon I would like to take a Masters course but I know full well that after I take it I will certainly not consider myself a master.

Some people take the time to mention working on their Masters course at every available opportunity, as if seeking to point out their ego-centric personalities. But these days isn't the Masters Degree itself becoming more and more diluted?

Also, when pointing out the inaccuracies of "Masters" there tends to be very different reactions as well. There are some who tend to take it very personally and see it as an attack on their status. Conversely, some of the best people I've met are the ones who many but themselves would consider masters. They are humble and fair and just get the job done with the minimum amount of fuss.  Perhaps these masters also know that they can never achieve that true mastery.  Or maybe they don't know and that's what gives them their real drive.  Either way I'll still work my hardest.

So here come some more resolutions:

5. I will treat all people equally
6. I will not lord any of my achievements over others

Here's to becoming a "Master of None".

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