Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stride and Go Seek

What is expertise, and how do we learn it?  Does it refer exclusively to knowledge accrued in an educational or vocational setting, or can it also recognize achievements in time management, cooking, public speaking, care giving, team building, and gerrymandering?

Well, I believe it's the latter definition.  If you devote more than 15% of your waking life to a certain capacity, it's probably something at which you have worked hard to become adept.  Without such proficiency in frequent tasks, I for one would feel quite stressed until I allotted the time necessary to qualify myself for the job.

Nonetheless, the question remains, Who teaches us these essential, if mundane skills?  Is it our teachers, our parents, our friends, strangers, ourselves?  How do we know where to look for guidance in the first place?

While many of us are blessed with amazing role models who share insight and even teach us some of these skills themselves, every one of us is likely to encounter a situation in which prior wisdom and direction simply cannot help us.  What can we do in such instances?

This past week was one of the most hectic of my life, for a number of reasons, but primarily because I was tasked with the overwhelming duty of soliciting dozens of food donations for an upcoming fundraiser.  Granted, the fundraising chair should be a little less clueless in her navigations of the donation domain, but it's tough when you're the sole person assigned to this task, without much counsel and with plenty of criticism.

When it comes to onerous jobs like fundraising, the truth of the matter is you're not going to find a lot of helpers offering up their assistance nilly willy.  While still respecting others' time and your own responsibilities to the task, you've got to take the initiative and ask for help from colleagues, friends, passersby--wherever you can get it and whenever you need it.  If you can't think of a relevant specialist off the top of your head, chances are one of your contacts will surprise you.

No matter what any higher power (or your parents) intended for you in this life, I know it didn't involve complete solitude and independence.  Don't be afraid to recruit the expertise of the billions of other humans out there, for their example will very likely mold your own approach for the better, and will perhaps foster a degree of camaraderie in the process.

~While staying true to her own technique, she admired her surroundings and all she could seek.~

Ask someone for help this week. :)

Hat: BCBG Max Azria (old).  Blazer: J. Crew (old; similar here).  Shirt: J. Crew (old; similar here).  Tie: J. Crew (old).  Coat: Saks Fifth Avenue (old.)

All photos courtesy of Alex Zhu.


  1. Oh gosh, yes to the little counsel and many criticism... but I hope everything worked out!

    1. Awww thank you! It did, and I wound up learning a new skill in the process! ;)