Jack of all trades… Master of none …true or false?

Image Credits: en.wiktionary.org

I first heard the saying; ‘Jack of all trades, is a master of none’ from my dad. While I took this as face value and later felt it is valuable mindset to have, I now wonder if this is true or false. On one hand it is humanly possible to be the best in all trades as there are millions of them. We would not have the time to master everything in a lifetime or just even explore them. Anyway I don’t think this statement suggests that anyone attempts to be a master of all trades.

We also don’t have the time in our lifetime to be a Jack-of-all-trades as well. But what do you think the original writer meant by the use of the word Jack. If it is the Jack from the pack of cards, then we are referring to the person who does all the work for the King and Queen. Therefore, by doing all the tasks required he learns many things, but will he ever be the master of any of those subjects.

Recounting my experience, I was in the collage rugby, athletic and chess teams. I was also a Boy Scout and I studied the subjects required to be an engineer. I believe  I excelled in the engineering class when I lead a team of my classmates to make a electronic scale in the late 70’s. While it was very primitive and shabby we believe it was one of the first such attempts in Sri Lanka. It was viewed by the then President of the country J R Jayawardena and a later Prime Minister  Ranil Wickremasinghe.

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