The longer I live the more I believe that once you become very proficient at a certain set of skills it is unwise to dabble in other areas in which it takes professionals years to become expert. I am a professional children’s therapist. I consider myself quite good at it. I have no plans to try dentistry or nuclear science as a hobby on the side. The results of that would likely be disastrous.
I am dreading the day when I become so famous that my ego convinces me that I am capable of dabbling in other professions which are dangerous to even the most seasoned professionals. Two examples of this phenomena occurred fairly recently. New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle apparently flew his plane into the side of a New York City apartment building Wednesday afternoon. (My first thought was “I wonder if those people will get their security deposit back?”) About four weeks prior to that Steve Irwin, aka The Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray. First and foremost, both deaths were tragic because these were men with a lot of life left ahead of them and who left behind wives and children. Secondly, they were both situations in which each was dabbling in an area out of their expertise.
Flying airplanes seems to be a very popular and very deadly hobby for the rich and famous. Cory Lidle, John F. Kennedy Jr., John Denver, Buddy Holley, Thurman Munson etc. The list could obviously go on. Those are just the ones off of the top of my head. My opinion is that if one mistake leads to your death, it probably shouldn’t be just a hobby. Aren’t hobbies supposed to be fun? There is very little chance I’ll die from a blogging accident, but if I were to take up flying I think my chances of death would increase by at least double. But then again, as I’ve already made clear, I’m not going to die.
Back to my premise: everyone should stick to what they do best. It’s what makes the world go round. If I need someone to throw a fastball high and tight, I call a baseball player. If I want someone to fly me across the country I call a pilot. If I find a stingray in my bathtub and I’m flipping through the yellow pages do I go looking in the crocodile section of my phone book? Absolutely not. I go straight to the stingray section.