I work in a highly competitive business, and every day my competitors try to detract from my usefulness by criticizing my skills, and that fact that I not only teach those skills to my students, but insist that they learn them to a very high standard. I (and my students) are told time and time again that those skills are not necessary any longer, but we all disagree. We have found those skills useful many times. What is clear is that my competitors are waging a war on intelligence and skills.
Admittedly, there are certain professions where we desperately want someone to have a high level of skill and intelligence: brain surgeons come to mind, because we really would not want a brain surgeon to rely on talent, or a capacity for “winging it.” But why should any other profession be different from brain surgery? Why not reward high levels of accomplishment, study, and skill with appropriate appreciation, and, of course, financial remuneration?
It is time for all of us to begin demanding that the people we deal with, in any profession, show a high level of skill. It is time for us to demand it of ourselves, of our children, and of the businesses we deal with on an everyday basis. It is only when consumers, and society, as a whole, begin to demand intelligence and skill in every job, in every interaction, that we will see an improvement in our lives. It is time for us to quit criticizing those who are better than ourselves, and learn from them instead.