Mark's Musings

A miscellany of opinions, thoughts, rants and comments

Clickbait

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I was idly browsing some clickbait linked to on Facebook by a friend of mine, and came across this one:

ben-carson

It made me stop and think. Because there are two completely different messages here, and yet both are really, really important.

The first is the positive one. Your value is in what you are good at, not what you are bad at. If you compare yourself with other people based on what they are good at, you will always feel second best. If you’re trying to be what other people are, you will never succeed. But if you’re aiming to be what you are, then nobody else can match that. Be Ben Carson the neurosurgeon, not Ben Carson the politician. Be you.

The other point is the negative. Expertise is not fungible. Just because someone is good at one thing does not imply they will be good at another. In particular, the political opinions of pop stars are of no more value that the political opinions of the person who works at the next desk to you. The political opinions of a successful and wealthy businessman are no more likely to be right than the opinions of your drinking partner in the pub. Make your own choices, and don’t get sucked in to the cult of celebrity. Listen to Ben Carson’s thoughts on medicine, but don’t listen to his opinions on politics. Ditto for whoever you consider your heroes in music, sport, business, art, religion, science or whatever. Celebrate people for what they are good at, but don’t make the mistake of believing that they have any greater insight into the things outside their métier than you do.