Sunday, June 27, 2010

Trust them. They're experts.

It's something that we don't often think about others because of our own preoccupations, but most people are experts in something. I've spoken with my friend Karen Kavett a lot about our respective areas of expertise. We have a great deal in common, both being avid artists in our fields, but we also have a lot of stark differences, her being a graphic artist and me being a musician. It baffles me how much focus it takes to train one's eyes to be a good artist, how much finesse it takes to make a perfect brush stroke, and on the same token, she has mentioned how she just doesn't know where to start when listening to a piece of music.

So what occurs to me in all of these discussions is that people think as hard about other things as I think about music. When my mother watches HGTV, for example, it just astonishes me that Holmes on Homes knows so much about home inspection requirements, and I have to imagine the stacks and stacks of books he goes through in planning and understanding them. It also blows my mind when even he has to bring in experts to check his work, like his circuit breaker installation specialist--seriously, they seem simple, but if they need their own expert, they can NOT be simple!

I suppose what I'm saying is that for every field of expertise, there will, therefore, be an expert. Sounds crazy, I know! The tough thing that we have to accept, though, is that most of the time, we do have to trust them.

Sleep: X
Clarinet: X
German: X
Exercise: R (Sunday is my designated day of rest from exercise)
Blogging: X


  1. At least people listen to you talk. I can go on about something but no one ever listens. (and sometimes I am right, and they are surprised.)

  2. I was thinking about this at Riverfest last week. I stepped into a little store that was selling costume jewelry, and the guy behind the counter was telling someone about how the jewelry designers had permission to create things on their own using the quality techniques they had learned at big companies. At first I was thinking that he was just feeding them a line, and then I thought -- no, this is what he DOES. This is HIS field of expertise. I doubt he's making it up.

    The only way you can not need to trust an expert is by becoming an expert yourself. And I think I'm OK with not being an expert in every single field I'm interested in.