Thomasville Times Enterprise

November 14, 2013

Measure words; weigh judgments

Rev. Milton Gardner

— Have you ever noticed that most people are experts in every field except the one in which they perform? It occurred to me recently that I, too, am guilty  of this type of delusive exercise.

On Monday morning, we mysteriously metamorphose into coaching geniuses and even into deft and daring quarterbacks. We are great and wise statesmen, political prognosticators and peerless military strategists. We second-guess psychiatrists, jurists and movie producers.

However, if someone asks us about something in our own field, we are likely to hedge, equivocate and otherwise “beat around the bush” with uncertainty and embarrassment. We say, “I’m not positive” or “it’s debatable.” Perhaps, we should realize that it is much easier to analyze than it is to actualize, to commentate than to participate.

Someone has said, “An expert is a person away from home.” When we get away from what we are supposed to know, how easy it is to assume the role of supreme authority. Soloman warned, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”

It behooves us to measure our words and weigh our judgments lest we be called upon to substantiate our conversation.