One too-clever-by-half young lad was interviewing for a job, there was nothing he couldn’t do better than anybody else. So finally the interviewer, exasperated asked “Can you wheel smoke in a barrow?”
Quick as a flash the lad came back with “You load it, I’ll wheel it.”
One thing I’ve learned, no matter what you’re doing there’s always somebody out there reckons they know how to do it better. It doesn’t matter that they’ve never actually done the job; it’s just that they’ve got enough life experience to be able to tell them how wonderful they’d be if they had to do it.
Some professions suffer more from this than others. Teachers suffer badly; after all, we’ve all been to school, so we are all experts on schooling and how teaching should be done.
I’ve had it myself; I’ve been told how I should handle cattle by people whose whole experience of livestock handling was that they were allowed to fetch the class hamster home during the holidays. (It died twice and Mum had to go to the pet shop with the corpse in a carrier bag to make sure she brought one back the same colour so that nobody noticed.)
But there is another phenomenon. While everybody knows how to live everybody else’s life better than they do it themselves, the vast majority of us are happy enough to just comment and barrack from the sidelines. We don’t roll our sleeves up and organise the person’s life for them. There are exceptions and they’re people we’re all wary of, ‘pushy parents’ are one category of people it’s possible to be derogatory about without being politically incorrect.
But put people in power and it can go to their heads. In fact it can go to their heads if they merely aspire to gain power or in the case of John McTernan if they merely advise people who aspire to gain power.
As John McTernan said, “You can’t trust people to spend their own money sensibly.”
Let people decide what to do with their own money! You might as well give an elephant a chainsaw.
All I can say is that if these people don’t trust us to spend our own money; I’m surprised they trust us to choose the right party to vote for.
What do I know, you might as well ask the dog.
As a reviewer commented, “This is a selection of anecdotes about life as a farmer in Cumbria. The writer grew up on his farm, and generations of his family before him farmed the land. You develop a real feeling for the land you are hefted to and this comes across in these stories. We hear of the cattle, the sheep, his succession of working dogs, the weather and the neighbours, in an amusing and chatty style as the snippets of Jim Webster’s countryman’s wisdom fall gently. I love this collection.”