Those who attain a certain level of expertise in their chosen occupation often develop trade lingo. Their vocabulary may become so specialized that an entire conversation would sound like gibberish to the uninitiated. I’m certain that one’s motives for using such trade lingo varies from time to place. Sometimes specialized words are simply a quick method to convey complex meaning between experts. At others, it serves only to boost one’s ego. If we’re not careful, at the expense of our friends.
Extraordinary discoveries are made by those who attain such a level of expertise. These discoveries often shape the way we understand reality. Einstein, for instance. Few of us could grasp the mathematical concepts he understood. But his theories shaped the scientific community and affected the way almost everyone perceives reality. I wouldn’t pretend to understand the Theory of Relativity. Most people probably don’t. But it makes me aware that time and space aren’t fixed. They are, somehow, interconnected in such a way that escapes my comprehension. I’m content to embrace the mystery.
Which leads me to the point of this post. Pastors call it ‘The So What?’ factor. This expression conveys the idea that the end of a sermon should make all that was said before it relevant to the listener. What’s the takeaway? Imagine the difficulty Einstein faced. To a much lesser degree, explaining the relevance of a commercial appraisal and the role it plays in the life of everyone presents a challenge. Try as I might to explain the concept of the time value of money, most people will never grasp its meaning. And that’s O.K.
But its application has real world consequences and these consequences can have a dramatic impact on the lives of real people, much as the ripple effect of the dead butterfly in “A Sound of Thunder”.
It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve seen lives ruined and fortunes lost as a result of its misapplication, either through ignorance or complicity with the system.
Here’s the takeaway. Whatever our chosen occupation, the things we do in life as experts matter. The decisions we make as professionals are relevant and they have a real impact on the real people around us, including our own families. Perhaps the decisions you or I make today will echo far into the future in ways we could never comprehend.
Food for thought.