A Clarity of Understanding. Seeing is believing!
A document can never say everything about reality. At best, it tells what a person already understands.
I was reading a book by Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, as I see him the best at helping pet owners. However, this was one of the few, or two times, I found myself disagreeing with something he wrote. It had to do with people locating a quality dog trainer, or perhaps one who simply can teach the family how to properly socialize their pet so they have a wonderful life together.
He explained, and I have read him do so in other books, that best to find one who is certified. I want to hold here a second: Certification. Let me explain why I disagree, but also, why I don’t think he believes his own statement. Perhaps, it’s more in theory than in actual application. And I have considered this from many directions, but more so, in the people who decide.
A piece of paper is just a piece of paper. No writing of any kind can tell the world all about you. A certificate is just a piece of paper that is also recorded in an office, but also on computer storage devices. Anything that is formed, has your name, and says this and that, and provides the certificated person with authority (The only true authority in this arena is ability, skill, and integrity.) to do this or that, even train dogs, is just a piece of paper. Nothing more. The only thing that truly counts is whether the individual is “good” at what they do, be it pet training, developing software, coaching, repairing bicycles, developing bridges, designing dresses or what have you….
And, intuitively, we know this to be true. We know when we go to a dentist, if we haven’t checked the reviews, know people who’ve gone there, or know some people who work in the office and can give us the inside stories, we’re batting 50/50 at best in taking a chance that we’ll have to return for the same tooth… later… perhaps sooner. With automobile mechanics, I think high quality auto-repair businesses is really taking your chances, even if from your dealership.
In publications, in books, in blogs, we see some people very good at what they do, within the scope they share. In looking at photography, some have a “cool” way of seeing the scenes they take, and I would say, no amount of formal training gave them their perceptions. Some, in their writings, communicate in ways I couldn’t, but they often share and clarify.
Now, I understand, to some degree, the reasoning behind what Cesar Millan’s written. I imagine, he wrote that to be politically/sociologically correct and not lose supporters. But I also might consider that finding a trainer that has been trained, taught, and graded, along with a series of positive customer reviews, might help some pet owners make better decisions. But, no matter what, I still cannot agree with the statement (and I don’t believe he believes his own statement.). As many as there are certified trainers, I have to ask who certified and do I agree with their view on things. I also believe that as many certified trainers there are, there are more uncertified trainers just as good or better. I’ve seen this too many times in my life to believe otherwise. Some people are naturally gifted. Others, due to interest, develop their skills over time: on their own, and with observations, reading, and sheer determination/interest, they become very good at what they do. And many of these very talented and hardworking people don’t have certifications. But there’s more.
Cesar Millan himself learned without any training. None. Nada. He just knew. He grew up around dogs, loving every minute. He understood dogs, and I suppose, many other animals. I look at a dog and immediately, I get it. He gets them, but far above me, greatly due to his natural interests and time spent over the years, and I understand this through his explanations and show.
Had he never come to America, had he found work as a mechanic where he was (Perhaps a family business he was asked to remain helping.), he probably would have been the town’s best dog handler and teacher. Everybody with a difficult pet would have come to him. And no certification. And I will say this: Before he began his show, I’ll would bet dollars to doughnuts that he was already extremely well-versed with dogs, but also understanding people.
Here’s something I need to share. I can’t speak for everyone, but usually, I can recognized in others understanding, which I believe is the basis to find something, perhaps several things, to enjoy and learn. Perhaps even be very good at, perhaps even as a business. I think a lot of people never find things they’re good at because they don’t allow their own motivations to discover. That’s why, I’ve told many a children that while they’re young, that’s the time to try this and that, work hard on skills, and develop talents. Because when your older, married, and have your own children, the children have to come first. You might still have the opportunities, but good priorities are very important.
*I want to pause here to share a memory. It was when I realized something (I don’t remember what it was, but how the conversation went.), then told a friend. My friend immediately asked where had I learned that, but also, what book or magazine had I read that. That, I believe, was the first time I realized the problem with the belief in publications, certifications, and the title of “experts,” for who, I asked, confers titles, and what about those who naturally understand, or over time, come to see?
We cannot allow ourselves to be “trained” into thinking in certain ways (I can see myself shaping up for a long article, but I’ll keep it shorter for this purpose.). We cannot. We cannot give up our instincts, our common sense, and our natural ability to distinguish between real and unreal. Paperwork, shmaperwork. In its truest sense, means nothing. Honest motivation and hard work are far better. I’ll give a few examples.
There is one mechanic business I trust more than any other. I learned of them, more than a couple decades ago, through a friend who’d taken his cars there. Upon going to them, I knew one of the mechanics, and in talking to the owner, I knew instantly these were honest people (I knew then, I would never take my vehicles anywhere else unless I lived too far away.). And when I brought in a vehicle one time, because it was pretty old, the son (He now runs his father’s business full time.) suggested a less expensive repair as I probably wouldn’t keep the car for more than another year or so. That, I thought, was cool! I’ve now taken our vehicles to them ever since, and never, not once, have I had to return for the same issue. I tell all of my friends to take their vehicles to them.
While working at that zoo, I was helping a new person butcher a deer. He wasn’t all too keen on this, but the rule was guys do the butchering. So I showed him by steps, explaining how and why. He said something: He said I made it look easy. I said, of course. It’s just how you look at it. And that taught me something I hadn’t realized before.
I’ve a friend who can do anything. Anything. And you can see it just looking at him. Out of, perhaps boredom, he started designing cakes, then selling them for profit. Along the way, a cake business wanted to hire him (He had no formal training and no certification.), but he already had his career and another business. And sure enough, if something needs to be done, he knows how to do it. It’s just in him to understand. And he’s motivated. If he wants to do something, being a family man first, he’ll do it. But I think, it’s in all of us to understand more than we realize. Perhaps, we won’t be as him. But we are as we are, and paperwork doesn’t define us. We don’t need certifications to do anything.
And that goes with teachers. I never needed a certificate to teach. Never. I was already teaching at that zoo, years before I completed my education. I know a nice lady who would make a great teacher. She can explain anything, but more importantly, put together words so anyone can understand. But she doesn’t want to teach. She’s much happier helping another with business, working crafts and gardening, and sharing her life with her husband, perhaps helping him with his career as well. But she’s a natural teacher, and she’s far better than many I have seen in schools. She also has a ton of common sense.
And I’ve known mechanics who have no business being near other people’s vehicles. I’ve known coaches who will never lead any team to post season. At the university, I’ve known students working to get their teaching credentials that have no business being in any classroom, but that certificate will say they can. And if they’re politically correct, they’ll have a career. And I have known people good around animals, can train very well, but don’t have certificates. There are kids, walking around, that can train dogs, cats, birds, or whatever, and they never think about being a trainer, though they train.
If I had a dog with difficulties, and I needed “professional” help, I would not only talk with certified trainers, but anyone someone suggested because they know that person can truly help. And I would listen to them talk. While I’m not a trainer, though I’ve been around a lot of animals, I have enough instincts and common sense to “see” if the other person is legit. I don’t care about paperwork. I only care about good quality results.
As such, I would be looking for ability, understanding, and reliability. Then, I would watch some of the sessions, maybe all because I like to learn, and when I saw enough, tell others about this person.
To parents considering home schooling: It’s not about a certificate (a piece of paper). To anyone wanting to work on their own car: It’s not about a certificate (a piece of paper). To anyone who wants to design clothing, start a business, learn anything, it all resides in you. I think working summer camps really taught me that: sent the message home. And you determine the quality of the work you do. No one else. How did people in the old west do things without a panel conferring certificates? Oh, you can take classes. You can be trained. But you determine what you understand and how well you’re trained. You also throw out garbage training: keeping only the good. Or, if you’re like one of my friends, you just do most of it yourself.
When you buy a new car, part of the warranty often requires a certified mechanic. Now, who made that part of the agreement? Why did they do that? Yes, I know there are some good reasons, but it requires certifications, and as we know, that doesn’t always mean quality. If I decide to work on the brakes, I know the job was done right.
I don’t know how difficult what I’m suggesting is in these strange times of propaganda and over-regulation. However, I would suggest to parents to allow their children to be themselves, but have responsibilities, and where interest exists, to encourage them to pursue. But as I’ve said to other parents, whatever the child decides to partake, tell them they can’t quit. They have to follow though. For instance, if they want to learn to play the clarinet, agree on what’s right: Perhaps two years. If they want to join soccer, they have to see the season through. What’s natural always motivates. In a couple families I know, by the time their children were twenty, they already had many talents and skills, but also were running their own businesses. Why? Because their parents knew they could and were doing so themselves.
After all, as said above, how did the first people learn anything? There was no paperwork back then.
Hmmm… But then schools and certificating centers would be out of business. Some authorities would no longer be authorities. Lawyers wouldn’t be needed. Government bureaucrats would have to get day jobs. And more and more people would be self-reliant. But we would also have a lot more people starting their own small businesses, due to less red tape, and the economy would boom. And we wouldn’t need them. Hmmm…
**I love this short story: If everyone thought for themselves, were self-motivated, and knew whatever they did well, but also were strongly determined to be responsible for their own decisions, suing no one for what they themselves do, there would be no need for all the certificates and training by the numbers.
**Think of Thomas Kinkade. Think of many, in the past, that did amazing things, but also those who just started their own business because the wanted to. Consider Colonel Sanders who began Kentucky Fried Chicken. His story is amazing.
**A man who enjoys what he does.