We all know a few of these people.
You know the ones. They always seem to be wearing shoes you’ve never seen them in before. They are (seemingly) always talking about the pair they saw at [insert store or website here] that they’re just in love with and need to have. They’re the ones who you go visit and you have to move a pair or six out of the way before you can get into their house to take off your own.
I’ve struggled with these people for a long time.
I’ve struggled with them because I’ve always been the type of person who wore one pair of shoes until they just died. Like, I mean, I really kill shoes. I wear them until the sole pulls away from the rest of the shoe or splits open so my sock shows through the bottom. I wait for them to fully and completely die before buying another pair, but it generally takes a long time, because I buy pretty good shoes. It just seems to me like a better idea to have one multi-purpose, well-made shoe that will last as long as it lasts, and approximately go with every outfit I wear rather than to have a bunch of them cluttering up my entryway (or having to buy a shoe rack or something) so that they correspond exactly to a need.
But I get it now. In a way, it’s kind of like the skills you acquire in this life.
Stay with me here. There are the people in this world who are really, really good at very few things, and there are those who get pretty good at a whole lot of things.
Specialists are exactly the person you need for exactly what you need to have done. They fill one need, and do it better than anyone else you could get for the job. In any circumstance that requires exactly whatever they are best at, they are the ones you should have around.
They’re the one pair of shoes on the rack that go with one specific outfit or circumstance. Then there are the “jack of all trades” people who fill a need in a lot of circumstances. They might be less effective in every individual circumstance but you don’t need to look around for the exact one, because they’ll probably do what you need done relatively effectively. They’re the sturdy, multi-purpose pair of shoes.
So here’s my thought: Maybe I’m the “one multi-purpose shoe” kind of guy because I’ve also always been a “jack of all trades” kind of person, who gets as good as he can at as many things as he can, rather than specializing in one thing.
I can cook you a nice dinner, but I’m not a chef, and the chef’s meal would probably be better. I could probably fix that thing that’s broken in your wall causing that dripping sound, but I’m not a plumber, and a plumber would probably fix it better. I could maybe do your knee surgery…actually, you probably shouldn’t let me do your knee surgery.
Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that we need specialists. We need the people who are the best at what they do because they have made that their focus. Because I shouldn’t be doing knee surgery.
I guess that means, based on this analogy, that we also need the people who have a closet full of shoes.