07
Jan
08

Expecting Error From Experts

“Hello, my name is Dr. So and So and I am here because you know nothing about … and I do.  I am the expert, for I went to the University of such and such for 15 years.  I am thus your master for I know more than you could ever hope to know on this subject.  So, just sit back and listen to me bore you with my grand knowledge and you will know all you need to know.”

The preceding paragraph pretty well sums up the attitude of most so-called experts in any field from medicine to sports to religion.  I love the weather but I can’t stand television weather broadcasters who feel they are everyone’s parent when it comes to weather situations.  I can’t stand condescending experts in any field and just about everyone on television thinks that because they are there, it entitles them to be bowed down to as a god of whatever they are covering.

I have met my fair share of media personalities.  Of those whom I have met, I can think of ONE I could stand being around for more than a few minutes.  I vividly recall just a few years ago seeing a Cardiologist in downtown St. Louis at a brand new clinic.  On the way out, I was approached by a guy and asked if I would mind doing a quick interview for the local television channel regarding my experience at the new clinic.  Making a big mistake, I said fine.

A few minutes later, the woman who does all the medical related stories for the station arrived with loud “clickity clack” high heels and with such pomp I thought the Queen of England had shown up.  She started barking out orders to her legion of drones that scurried about like ants getting everything just right for her 2 minute segment.  It took someone 5 minutes just to get her hair perfect. 

After all this time waiting and watching, she was finally told that I was the appointed patient to be interviewed.  She looked at me and said; “Not him, get me someone who looks good on camera.”  That was it, my chance to be a celebrity went down the drain.  I didn’t make the cut because the “expert” didn’t like how I looked.  It didn’t matter that the reason I didn’t “look good” was because I was sick and thus I was visiting the clinic AS A PATIENT which was being highlighted for the news.

Eight years ago I spent many weeks cooped up in a motel room in Rochester, Minnesota while subjecting myself to the varied “experts” at Mayo Clinic.  The end result of my nearly two month stay was a laundry list of wrong diagnosis and no help for what had brought me there.  All I had to show for the huge investment of money and time was error.  I vowed then and I still vow to never again throw myself at the mercy of a legion of experts in the medical field. 

I, like I am sure many of you also, have had the unfortunate experience of taking my vehicle to an “expert” mechanic.  Sometimes they really are experts, but usually the job is delegated to some guy with some initials after his name who took a class to become an “expert”.  Isn’t it interesting how an “expert” can make the vehicle run WORSE after “fixing it?”  My favorites are “tech experts” that handle computer problems over the phone.  Some are really good and fix the problem.  I have had others who succeeded in so trashing my computer I had to drag it to an electronics store to get what the “tech support” experts did–UNDONE.

Thank you for indulging me as I threw my little tantrum on “experts”.  Hey, I am an expert too.  I am expert on what NOT to do if you want to do things right.  I am an “expert” on failure, for I have failed more often than I have succeeded.  I am an expert on who not to believe for I have fallen for the lies of more people than I care to admit.  I am an expert on many matters that produce nothing of any merit.

I do take pride in the one diploma I would gladly hang on my wall, and it is NOT a worthless “Associate of Theology” one from a now defunct school.  No, the one diploma I take pride in owning is the one indicating I have attended the “School of Hard Knocks”.  This school is open for anyone who has had to learn the hard way what life is all about.  This school specializes in those who have been hoodwinked, taken for all they had, sweet-talked, abused and deceived.  There are no graduates, for the curriculum never ends.  But, there is pride in being able to say you have attended.

Initials before or after a name mean little to me.  In fact, most of the people who have hurt me the most in this life, in every realm, had plenty of those letters either preceding or following their hallowed name.  No, I prefer to look at the humility of the person who claims to have all the answers and see if they are humble enough to consider all the facts before making a decision, diagnosis or judgment on a matter.  I would rather entrust certain matters in my life to someone who has failed and LEARNED from their mistakes than someone who projects the aura that they NEVER make a mistake.

I absolutely cannot stand arrogant and condescending people in any field.  Those who look down their noses and make no attempt to hide their feelings of superiority can have someone else’s business.  I would rather sit with a guy in his “office” out under a tree than sit in a million dollar ornate palace of an office of the foremost “expert” in the world.  All I care is that the person is real and treats me as a real person and not a “subject”.  Unfortunately, most experts only know how to approach others as someone who needs to be “subjected” to their expertise.

It certainly appears that the more one attends various schools and the more initials one gathers to flaunt all the knowledge one has obtained; the more ignorant one becomes of what is real and genuine in this life.  All the degrees in the world do not guarantee truth.  All the initials in the alphabet following one’s name do not guarantee the person knows a single thing about what is real and genuine.  All the degrees and initials imply is that a person has subjected themselves to a multitude of hours of propaganda on a particular subject.  Such propaganda is only as true as the people presenting it.  If they are right, then that which they teach is right.  If they are wrong, and only passing on error to the next “generation”, then all those degrees and initials stand for is error.

The millions of naïve people in this world who entrust their physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual well being to “experts” with 5 degrees and 15 initials following their name usually end up in no better shape than the wise people who listen to a multitude of counselors, but entrust their life to no one but God.  Life is a fragile thing and should not be thrown at the altar of arrogant fools whose only interest is vain-glory or financial gain.  Woe unto those who abuse helpless souls to further their own ends and serve their own interests.

If I have learned anything from my experiences in this life, it is to be extremely leery of anyone who hides behind their titles.  The vast majority of those who “demand” to be called Dr. or Rev. or Sen. or Professor, or “Most highly esteemed”, or any other prefix are to be consulted, but never entrusted with one’s life or heart.  Anyone so arrogant or insecure as to demand their title be publicized and known to all, is someone I can do without in this life.  Arrogance and elitism make the skin crawl right off my bones.

I appreciate the sacrifices made by those who attend extra years of college to get a “Masters” degree or the ultimate goal—“Doctorate” of anything.  I understand there should be something done to honor the extra effort made to reach such an esteemed level of knowledge.  But, to use that title as leverage for wealth or fame is terribly wrong.  A title does not make a person any better person than the rest of us.  A title does not guarantee a person is right.  It only means they have attended school a long time and have received extensive training in a particular field.

If the average person was wrong even half as much as the “experts”, he would have no credibility, no friends and no respect.  Somehow the “experts” can be dead wrong most of the time, and they are still considered experts.  This makes no sense to me and since I can’t figure it out because I don’t have enough degrees and initials; I will leave be content to be who I am and let others pretend to be who they think they are. 

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