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Never A Prophet In Your Own Country

February 1, 2022

“A prophet has no honor in his own country”

– John 4:44

Everyone who is a parent knows this. You can tell your kids some important piece of parental advice.

They ignore it.

The neighbor up the street tells them the same important piece of advice.

“Hey, Dad, guess what Mr. Simmons taught me?”

But, what happens when you combine the scripture from John with a little bit of imposter syndrome?

You become the one ignoring your own expertise.

My brother suggested I post something on LinkedIn about writing and publishing. “You’re an expert at that,” he assured me.

Am I?

My brother has published multiple books and his company actually has a small publishing arm.

I’ve published multiple books, generally as part of a group. (Most recent one, Miscellany Volume II available here.) I’ve also written hundreds of thousands of words in this space, and elsewhere doing documentation, stories, articles, and columns.

Does that make me an expert?

The problem is that I’m friends with some really good writers. People who do it full time for a living. I tend to look at them as experts. (Which they are.) And if they are an expert and I’m not at their level, can I really say that I am an expert?

My heart tells me no. But, my head tells me yes.

I just built a bathroom cabinet. Our main bath needed one so I looked at our existing cabinets. Figured out the design. Bought some wood from Home Depot and built a cabinet. Actually, this was the third one I’ve completed.

Am I an expert cabinet maker?

Depends on who you ask. To the cabinet making craftsmen, the people who made YOUR home cabinets? No. I’m just a guy with some tools in my garage. But, to the average homeowner, the people who don’t have experience hanging cabinets let alone making them? Yeah. There’s lots I could teach someone about how to make a simple cabinet.

And that’s the trick with being an expert. No one knows everything about everything. We each have areas we are good at, and areas we have no experience.

“Expert” is simply someone who knows enough to teach you about a subject.

And when it comes to writing, I certainly have things to teach. . .even if I still have a lot to learn.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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(c) 2022 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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