Monday, May 30, 2016

Celebrating The Jack Of All Trades.

What do all of the following have in common?

MacGyver, of the classic eponymous TV show.

A crow, one of nature's most ingenious creatures.

Roger Smith from 'American Dad!'.

The red mage from 'Final Fantasy'.

Mike Rowe, star of 'Dirty Jobs'.

Painter, inventor, writer, scientist and poet Leonardo da Vinci.

Each and every one of these is a highly adaptable Jack of all trades. They are able to do a lot of things reasonably well, more so than the common person or being. And yet, none are considered experts in any particular field. Their success stems from an ability to do many tasks and perform multiple skills proficiently, thereby granting them great value for their flexible utility. Concurrently, they also possess the ability to pick up new talents and hold an interest in a diverse range of subjects. In short, a jack of all trades is the personification of a Swiss Army knife.

I want to take the opportunity with today's article to celebrate the jack of all trades. Often chided as negligible or untalented in our culture, the truth couldn't be more different. Jacks of all trades are highly important within our society. They can complete a multitude of jobs without difficulty. Their malleability allows for transitions between different areas of work that most people simply couldn't pull off. Most importantly, when life has you backed in a corner and you're facing utter defeat or even death, the jack of all trades is the man or woman you want to have your back. They're the best defense against the worst-case scenario. Their resourcefulness is their key to victory.

As I've grown older, I have come to accept the fact that I'm a jack of all trades, however unlikely I initially thought I would be. When I was a younger man, I assumed I was destined to just be an artist. A jack of all trades? Humph! That was just a loser whom couldn't do anything right. Then I discovered I could cook. Then I was a medic. After that, a banker. Later on, I realized I could write reasonably well. Heap on a load of interests so diverse that I couldn't even begin to list them all here. Yeah... a jack of all trades for sure. As time went on, I started to cherish my versatility and ultimately embrace it. Of course, I'm not the best at any one particular thing, but I'm pretty darn good at a lot of things. I'm not going to write the greatest novel ever written. I'm not going to discover the cure to cancer. I won't ever win an Olympic medal. Nor am I going to draw the most realistic portrait ever put to paper.

But you know what? When the going gets tough, I'll survive. I'll make sure those around me make it through the night. And then... I'll cook breakfast.

So remember, folks. Support your local jack of all trades. Give them your business. Thank them for their uncanny knack for doing just about anything. And, if you discover you're a jack of all trades, don't fight it. You're more significant than you realize.

This guy gets me.

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