Why you are not a guru or expert.

First off, I want to come out and say it right away. I am not, nor will I ever be, a social media guru – or any kind of guru for that matter. I will likely and barely never be able to profess myself to be an expert and equally likely, never will. The reasons for this are three fold.

1) Unless you’re an ascetic nomad, deeply versed in the ways of an ancient eastern religion, living in the steppes of the himalayas – YOU… ARE… NOT… A… GURU. Simple as that. To profess such is to lay claim to a false title. Or to use more colloquial terms, calling yourself a guru would be no different from calling yourself a “douche.” No one will willingly do that to themselves.

2) Claiming to be an expert is equally dubious. Such an epithet should be reserved for only those who have devoted their lives to the study of a certain topic. In other words, an expert is no different than a guru. Outside of that, to become an expert in anything, generally means devoting a portion of your life to studying something in school and thus, obtaining a fancy piece of paper that using equally fancy wording, claims you as such, without actually saying so. That is to say, John Smith is not an expert. However, Jane Smith, P.Eng, is.

But at the end of the day, people with advanced degrees rarely claim themselves to be experts. It’s their colleagues that do that for them, and it’s others that bestow such a title as well.

3) I am loathe to any particular title that puts you above others. My first experience in realizing this came years ago when my dad made me switch dentists. There I was, sitting in the chair, waiting for the dentist to poke around in my mouth, when he entered the room. His name was Dr. Weaver. He introduced himself to me as ‘Jeffrey’. For me, at that time, was not a big deal – but for my Dad, it was. Dad had a university education, just the same as Jeffrey did. The only difference was their field of study. Jeffrey was no guru of dental health. Jeffrey was no expert at it either. He was just a guy who studied hard and became a dentist. He didn’t claim to be a dentist on his own… Others bestowed that honour upon him. 

Yes, he could’ve come into the room and said “Hi, I’m Dr. Weaver and I will be poking and scraping your teeth today.” But he didn’t.

I am not an expert. I am not a guru.

If anything, the only self-claimed title I will ever take is that I am a ‘jack of all trades and I am mastering quite a few’. 

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