“Jack of all trades, and master of none.” I have often used this quote to describe myself to my students. I’m not sure of the origin of the phrase; however, I felt it described my abilities quite accurately. I am a person who has always been able to accomplish many different things, although I can’t say that I “mastered” any of them.
It is this trait of mine that has often brought me success. Perhaps I didn’t know better than to try something at which I might be less than perfect. Anyway, I was voted most versatile by my fellow students in Junior College and felt humbled by their vote of confidence. All I knew was that if someone asked me to do anything, I would accomplish it or die trying. I’m still alive, so I survived! People soon learned they could always count on me. Looking back upon it, maybe I was fortunate that I didn’t fail!
This versatility became very important to me as an educational administrator. I learned to hire teachers and staff members who were also able to “wear many hats.” Whenever student population fluctuated, or funding became critical, I had staff members who could easily be moved to fill a different position. This gave staffing security to me, but also job security to the staff members. Our school was also able to offer many different programs due to the abilities of these people.
How did I become such a person? Perhaps it was due to my father being on the road as a truck driver who was never home. I undertook many tasks that he would have filled had he been home. That surely contributed to my “can do” attitude. As I have written before, being a gifted student placed in a program with wealthier students, I learned to improvise.
Another reason I have developed this trait is that I believe in the literal statement from Jesus Christ that “nothing is impossible with God.” I also lived with the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Armed with such resources, how could I fail? The promise was that if I fit my life into God’s plans for me (see Psalm 139), He would bless my every effort with success. God has never failed me yet.
I’ve often said that the human mind is capable of much more than we use. Gifted people just use their brain differently. It has been my joy over these fifty years to teach students how to develop their abilities with confidence. It is people like me who can do many things well who can encourage those who will “master” the arts, etc. because they have the dedication to that specific calling. So, I am happy to share talents and successes with others in the hope of igniting a “creative fire” within them which may give birth to another great composer, musician, artist, or scientist. It’s exciting!