While I was waiting at a doctor’s clinic, a man waiting with us started giving advice on what the best treatment for each one of us should be.

I was surprised by the way people were listening to his less-than-credible advice. Yes, he was very convincing, even though he had no medical background; he was a financial officer who had resigned recently because he “wasn’t promoted as he expected”.

Even more astonishing was a conversation later that same day between a Lebanese and a Jordanian on Lebanon’s political situation; it turned into a loud argument as the Jordanian insisted that he knew better about Lebanon’s politics than the Lebanese. I tried to moderate, be diplomatic but our Jordanian friend kept going on without taking into consideration the other point of view and the fact that being a Lebanese living in Lebanon his interlocutor might know more.

Lecturing on every subject seems to have become a way of life in Jordan. One sees the same people marching in the streets for reducing higher fuel prices, fighting corruption, freedom for the media and changing the Elections Law.

They take part in one march on a Friday criticising the privatisation law, and the following Friday marching for Gaza and Syria.

They may have caught the Arab Spring fever that is sweeping our region and enjoying the fact that they march for reform, but credibility is surely lost without expert, focused, people leading these marches.

I believe no one person can be a doctor, a politician, a media consultant and an economist all at the same time. We need to know our strengths and focus on the work that supports such strengths, and do it properly, trying to excel.

I feel that part of our high unemployment rate is somehow related to our belief that we are overqualified and knowledgeable in every field.

It is interesting to know that the difference in fitness levels and specific football skills between a mediocre-level football player and the best players in the world is less than 5 per cent, but it is that same 5 per cent of excellence that distinguishes those world-class players from mediocrity and makes them earn their millions.

Focusing on what we do well, persevering in reaching our goals and promoting a culture of excellence are key factors in any country’s development.

After all, Jack of all trades is master of none.

Deema I. Alam,
Amman