Who is Jack?

Hello people, Happy Sunday and a wonderful new month! This post is in a new segment of the blog called “Mindset” 🤔cause it’s one that challenges pre-established “norms”.

Do read today’s blog post with an open mind and more importantly,share your thoughts in the comment section ☺️.

The man,  dressed in grey suit and a red tie paused mid sentence and chanted it like an old recital and in that moment, I could tell that it was something he said often. A “go-to” card at the back of his palm to divert attention from a question he couldn’t answer.

Now, this is not one figment of my imagination. Was it not obvious in the way the phrase “Jack of all trades…” flowed from his lips, a very unrelated response to the question Lilian had asked.

As expected, the chorus was swift, like a child on reflex responding to the call of her mother, voices in the room echoed a response- uniform,  fluid: “Master of none!”

Well, there I sat,  taken aback by the speed with which the response was churned.

It’s what we’ve been told, what we’ve heard over and over again and without really thinking it through, the response was given and more annoying was the tinge of excitement the voices held.

Now this excitement;

Was it happiness OR a  deceptive comfort from the fact that “atleast I am not a Jack of all trades”

Perhaps, it’s the excitement that comes with the solidarity-of being woven into a crowd that believes in one cause, chanting, heard together, but not voice enough alone.

Okay, it’s not that deep lol

The real point is, “Who is Jack and what has he got to do with me?

Yes, maybe this is a rant.

This is what I think about *Jack and the fact that his name has now become an agent of self doubt.
Of course, I’d like to hear your thoughts too, but here’s mine.

The thing is,  I think it’s possible to be great at many things, that our brain has the capacity to master different skills,  but all that *Jack phrase has done is: stop people from even trying, letting many die without knowing what else they could have been.

That phrase never did anyone good.
Only chained legs to seats, whispering that they would fail at this new venture.

This is how it starts:

“Remember Jack and how he just tried many things and never mastered any…”
The voice continues,  “don’t be like Jack,  stay still… You are comfortable and this is good”.

So I confess, this right here is exactly why I refused to sing the chorus that day, because majority doesn’t always mean right and the fact that Jack failed doesn’t mean that *Albert would.

I mean,  let’s even take a moment to examine this description:

“I know a man, he’s a skillful player (of musical instrument), a valiant man,  a man of war (warrior),  prudent in speech, a handsome man and a man full of God’s presence.”

Some people would see this today and say,  you’re too much, too everything, but that right there was David being described.
Yes, he was all of that.

 

By the way, I even got to learn recently that the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” is actually incomplete. The full saying is “Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than master of one.”

So,  this one right here is a pledge to try out new skills.
To take on new experiences without ever feeling the need to pinch myself thin and fold myself square into a box of “be only this, not that”.

I hope this creates a desired change and that next time “Jack of all trades” is chanted in a way that says:  “sit still and don’t be too much”, you’d have the courage to smile and ask: “who is Jack and what has he got to do with me?”

Now I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Victory Osarumwense

Popularly called Victory Osas is an Accountant by day and a creative storyteller with every breath she takes. She is the kind of person who would take the window sit in a car just to look at the people walking by. She says that people are walking stories and often finds a way to wrap ordinary moments that people would overlook to her works.

13 thoughts to “Who is Jack?”

  1. Thought provoking indeed…

    Jack has suffered at the lips of opinionated folk especially busybodies who never mind their personal businesses. Jack has been stereotyped as the unfocused chap who ends up with no substantial results to show…

    But since it’ll be almost impossible to change the wrong mindsets of the masses overnight, we’ll encourage ourselves with the knowledge that we’re not Jack.

    Well done Vicky.
    You know who…

  2. This is a really thought-provoking piece and a wake up call at the same time​. Wheeew! I actually did identify myself along the line of this story. At a point in time i knew i could do anything and excel in it but sadly, now it seems i have nothing in my hands now because i didn’t want to be ‘Jack’… I hope it’s not too late for me

  3. I think here the word of importance is “master”. A master in this context is someone who is deft or has expertise in a certain area. Hence, while that saying is most truly used out of context, a more plausible application could be emphasizing the importance of “unmediocrity” (permit me to use that word, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist, lol), I.e. knowing a little bit of this and a bit of that, yet not knowing enough to be recognized for it. So, I’m not against knowing how to do so many things, but the emphasis is knowing how to do those things “well”. Leaving all the big big grammar aside ehn, make person sabi Somtin well well. If he does this, then He’ll truly be “often times better than master of one”.

    1. I agree with you Mimah and I believe that indeed we have the capacity to do more than one thing well… but sometimes the phrase is used out of context in a way that restricts people from trying out new things or really exploring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  4. Although I cannot deny the fact that I sometimes feel like I could have achieved more at something if I had given total focus to it and left every other thing of interest alone… but then again, I cannot imagine a life in which I could do just one thing or just one set of related things. That would mean that I would be totally useless under some circumstances where the skills I have gathered in that one thing prove to be irrelevant in the new reality. That’s scary. It is not impossible to become a master at more than one thing. I love this…. I love it. I love you.

    1. Eric! Thank you for this comment. The point of this post is nit to contend the importance of focus, however, it’s to contend with the mindset that “variety is somehow a problem”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Real words dearest Osas…
    To him who has, that which was taken from the one who hasn’t any would be given… So the more Ur manage Ur guftings, even more will be added… A master of all truelly exists my dear…. Well scripted and timely… More grace

  6. Well, I would say that it is good to be master of many things but I think taking the master card in a skill per time is the key to true mastery. Striving to get all keys will lead to diverting our energies and hence unfulfilling.

    Is it possible to be master in many skills? Yes, I agree with you! Nice write up dear!

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