Opinion Columns & Blogs

We have smart days and we have dumb days

My wife says we are all smart and dumb about one thing or another. She’s right, of course, though I would rather she didn’t include me in the downside of that opinion.

However, she is honest enough to accept the fact that she also is both smart and dumb about one thing or another. We are all collections of wisdom and stupidity. That’s because there are thousands of ways to make a living and it just stands to reason that we can’t all learn everything there is to know about all of them.

That’s why auto mechanics and electricians and mathematicians chuckle at me when I say things that reveal how little I know about their realms. They can’t help it when I tell them things like, “My left saftenhaidle has a cracked nuftenshager on its flamflew.”

I chuckle right back at them because their grammar isn’t perfect.

If people are lucky in life, they will find a job they are good at and will enjoy. I enjoy spinning yarns in newspapers and I haven’t starved, but I would be a disaster if someone tried to put me to work teaching chemistry, repairing trucks or removing people’s gall bladders.

None of us was ever cut out for all the professions there are. However, a few people in some professions think they know everything and that they are never wrong. That is especially true of professions that require a dictator.

Airline pilots, surgeons and dynamite-using miners know that a job dealing with danger virtually requires a command personality, a leader who can think quickly and give notice that he is in charge.

It’s not that they are stupid in most matters. They aren’t. While they are on their own turf, they deserve to be recognized as the dazzling big brains they are. On the other hand, some of them make the mistake of assuming their opinion is superior in all realms of life, not just in places where they work.

That reminds me of Dr. Ben Carson, one of the Republican candidates for the White House job. He is a chronic case of a brilliant surgeon who is so certain he is right about everything that he imagines he is ready to be president.

When it comes to instant national leadership talent, the good doctor is still wet behind the ears. But he considers himself so smart that he doesn’t even know he doesn’t know.

Granted, practically anyone who is running for president — Democrat or Republican — tends to have a high opinion of his or herself. In fact, practically everyone is stretching reality in taking on a huge job like president.

A naïve guy like Carson is an example of how anyone has to be crazy to think he is prepared to run an entire country.

I have no doubt that Carson is a genius at his real job, and he seems to have a brain in his pumpkin. But he is a raw beginner when it comes to guiding a nation.

Shouldn’t he be expected to run first for county commissioner before trying to leap overnight into the highest, hardest job in the land?

Young Barack Obama has experienced similar stumbles because he wanted to be near the top of all that power and glory at a tender age. But at least he spent some years learning similar ropes in the Illinois State Senate.

What would Carson think if Obama had decided to become a surgeon without any medical training?

Seeking to become an instant president is not for greenhorns. If Carson gets the chance, he will learn something important:

It isn’t easy being green.

Hall may be contacted at wilberth@cableone.net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501.