I took at look at my WordCloud today. You know, that hodgepodge puzzle of words that peeks into a blog to see what hides in the pages. So many words there make me smile – places and names and things like grace and hope and life.
It’s no secret that I love words. I think they are beautiful morsels to be shared like warm bread with butter and a sprinkle of salt.
Lately though, I’ve been pondering a word that may be fast becoming my least favorite word of all – more than moist or dirge or even spatchcock.
Now, I’m sure the word really means no harm. It’s certainly been around a lot longer than I have. But I’ve noticed something over the past few years, as this strange global community grows and builds new virtual gathering spots for connection-hungry people. Expert has become far too easy a card to carry. It seems everyone can be an expert these days. I shudder when people use “expert” to describe me – whether they’re talking about marketing or making cupcakes. I might have ideas. I might even have something relatively smart to share. I may even sound like an expert. But there’s a difference between having expertise in a particular subject and claiming the title of “expert.” More often than not, expert opinion is just that. Opinion.
And those expert opinions can play tricks on you and me as they collapse in on us. Think about it. Depending upon the expert I listen to, coffee is either going to kill me or make me a better runner in the mornings. My granddaughter needs to sleep on her back/side/tummy/side/tummy to be safe. You need a daily dose of sunshine to calm your nerves and prevent disease, and you better stay out of it to avoid aging and cancer. We need to blog every day so we can build our “tribe,” but only need to blog enough to make our tribe seek us out.
And anything – EVERYTHING – will ultimately kill us. Or not.
So today, that WordCloud helped shake my mind free from the opinions, helped remind me of things that really count in the long run because they’re the things that are part of who I am. And it reminded me of what I’m called to be in this world and to those connection-hungry people. I believe you’re called to be the same.
We can have expertise at things. But let’s be something more awesome than experts. Let’s be
Live like Jesus did and the world will listen. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
What would your WordCloud say – what do you need to remember about who you are? And what is it you want to be?