Human Capability

Human Capability

Human Capability

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Human Capability “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze new problems, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Post 1
I had to smile when I read the statement by Robert Heinlein. I smiled because it brought about fond memories of my childhood, especially as it relates to my dad. I believed my dad could do anything and honestly believe that that list has nothing on what he was actually capable of doing.

As an adult, I admire those who are genuinely multi-talented; however, I do believe there is room in the world for those of us who choose and nurture a specific quality. I can’t help but to think of how individuals who are so multi-talented must feel when something doesn’t go quite as planned or when they have so many options, even they can’t make a decision. I honestly don’t believe just because a person excels at multiple tasks they are always expected to function at a higher standard; however I do believe they tend to feel more pressure to exceed at a higher level than the rest of us.

In researching how I was going to approach this discussion question I came across an article titled, Multi-potentiality: multiple talents, multiple challenges. The article referred to a person by the name of Gordon Parks who was also affectionately referred to as the Renaissance Man. The article noted that he once said, One of the pleasures of my life has been pursuing serial interests in often radically different fields: being a research assistant in genetics and later in left/right brain wave research; a visual effects camera operator, and multiple other jobs and pursuits. But one of the costs has been a life unmoored to any career, and many periods of anxiety and self-doubt. (Eby, 2013)

So again I say, there is nothing wrong with specialization as it still requires a continual learning cycle, just as anything else would. Being a master of all trades can be just as much a hindrance psychologically as being a master of none. I think overall society appreciates the unique individual gifts that people share.


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