Jul 17, 2007

Generalism

I am a generalist. This was brought home again to me tonight as I discussed with my husband my wish to someday study linguistics (and comparative religions and Quenya and French and economics and sociology and painting and costume design and metaphysics, and, and...). There is just not enough time in life to learn all I want to know. This is hard to accept, of course, so I slide through one subject to another, learning just enough to be conversant.

I struggle with being a generalist - the money's with the specialists, I know, and the glory, in general. Specialists can find a cure for cancer. Specialists can bring fresh water to third world countries. Specialists can send a man to the moon. Specialists can create a computer that thinks for itself (although, having seen Terminator 3, I am not so certain is a good idea.)

Still, we generalists have a lot to offer the world that specialists don't really - the breadth of our experiences breeds a compassion and ability to understand a vast array of situations at least a rudimentary level. I have found that, in general, most specialists are less able to do that - being so wrapped up in a single subject by necessity lessens the time available to develop a more comprehensive frame of reference. Generalists make good leaders for that reason. Generalists make good parents for that reason as well. Generalists are able to see beyond the controlled scientific parameters to real world repercussions. Generalists can extrapolate to the outside paradigm in a way that many specialists have difficult in doing.

I have made great progress in accepting myself as a generalist. I have accepted myself to the extent that I have been able to structure my life in a way that, for the most part, meets my generalist needs without an exceeding amount of guilt. My life's plethora of part time occupations, some paid, some not, is far more satisfying to my basic nature than a single focus.

/preachy metaphysical section

And, basically, if we try to fight our basic natures, aren't we trying to fight what The Light wants for us? If we accept that we are created in the image of The Light; to reject that is to reject The Light in some way, wouldn't you say? If you want my opinion, well, ok, even if you don't want it!... all that is required of us is to love. Not just each other but ourselves as well. I think, for some of us, the biggest struggle we have is to love ourselves. Is that The Dark at work? I can't say but I wouldn't doubt it. There is nothing The Dark loves more than to separate us from The Light. The Light wants us to love ourselves as reflections of Its love and Itself and when we fail to do that, we do give The Dark an opening.

/end preachy metaphysical section

So, whether you be a specialist and have the monetary and social rewards of same or a generalist and wondering what your worth could possibly be, remember The Light shines in all of us; it's just that some of us cast a broader, more diffused beam.

I, myself, will keep trying.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Jade said...

I *laughed* at this...

"I have found that, in general, most specialists are less able to do that "

Hee hee hee... "I'm a generalist, and I have found... in general..."

I suppose you would not find things specifically would you :)

I'm a generalist too, and I quite enjoy taking whatever journey seems right at the time. (and Oooohhh... costume design would be fun!)

2:46 AM  
Anonymous gina said...

I am the general of the generalist group. I have always had a penchant for doing things that don't necessarily support the direction I am going in...My doctor says it is OCD...I now know where I fit in.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

You know, I never said I was sorry to be a generalist. I'm sorry that I didn't push myself harder in some areas. ;o)

And I agree that to dislike something about yourself is saying that God goofed. He didn't. But I feel like the man who buried the talent instead of using it. I've let Him down cause I haven't used all that was given to me. Do just enough to get by. Bringing me to what I think is hardest: forgiving yourself.

As for love, I think it's important to love but abiding may be more important. Now I really thought about this a long time and I'm still not sure that's the right answer but the ability to truly love comes from the Spirit and abiding keeps you close to the Spirit.

[Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.]

And now I have been thinking too hard. LOL

11:25 AM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

You go ahead and be a generalist. You seem to be an expert! (I loved that too: "I have found, in general...":) Oh and I think you need some theme music to be playing in the background for the preachy metaphysical section. And I say that in the most loving possible way.
hee. (You could study maybe three things at a time: start with painting, sociology, and French.
Don't they seem to go well together?)
:)T

9:05 AM  
Blogger SmileyDad said...

I agree that there's not a lot of time in life to learn everything a person wants to learn, and I do support your stategy to accomplish what you want the most,

Its like I tell my wife would like to do this and that and she keeps telling me dream on, but I will not give up.

talk to you later and thanks for visiting by blog witch I finally made changes to it.

4:41 PM  

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