Has opinions, not an expert

Re. Katherine Arrowsmith’s letter Everyone is not an expert (Castanet, Sept. 28)

Katherine Arrowsmith writes, claiming that everyone is not an expert.

While she is obviously quite correct in making that broad statement, she seems to underrate the intelligence of the public and the insight that people have accumulated through their life. This is generally referred to as "human potential". We have it, and we can share it.

Firstly, there is an assumption from the layperson that every elected or appointed official or designated "expert" is competent. I can tell Katherine that having met many of these people, heard their opinions and having seen them perform in their roles, the holding of a piece of paper or a position does not automatically merit competence.

We can see, simply by the state of society, our communities, traffic, crime, public safety or a broad range of other deliverables, outputs and metrics. If so many of these people were experts, why is our society such a total and utter shambles?

If our politicians and leaders were such experts, why is the economy in the toilet? Why is crime and public safety out of control (Kelowna is No. 1 in Canada for crime).

The court of public opinion should be directed at officials who are placed in office to serve the public. What has happened in contrast is we now have non-functioning societies, where top-down policies are dictated through dogma and personal agendas. The public is told to defer to the wisdom of such experts—know your place, don't dare to question.

I have met many people who may not be considered experts in their field or the field they are discussing but they are smart, self-educated and apply a huge amount of time and effort towards learning skills and gaining competence in certain areas. These people are keen to share experiences and help others learn without making the same mistakes their own learning curve offered.

As the saying goes, if you're not making mistakes, you're probably sitting around doing nothing with your life other than getting behind, fearful of doing anything else, making a mistake or failing at the first attempt.

Listening and talking with people is a good way to become informed and educated. People have so much potential to develop their own skills and abilities but they are often held back by a society that defers to certificate-holding "experts".

Kelowna could have the perfect candidate for mayor out there looking at local media and assessing public opinion, a perfect candidate to take society forward and wrangle with the social ills of the community. But having seen the articulations of the public, and the demand (from some) they (should) be a former councillor, a known face or someone from the high and mighty of Kelowna "royalty", perhaps they'll pass.

Thinking "why should I bother with such small minded narrow thinking people?"

If you're out there reading this, please think again. Kelowna needs you. They don't know that they do because they're not capable of thinking outside of the box they've created for themselves.

How dare people have a personal opinion about public safety, crime, traffic, development, the political process, democracy, immunology, personal freedom, or the collective ills of society?

Listen, talk, and learn. Apply yourself, test and measure, then succeed at anything you want to in life (within reason).

It's a fantastic feeling to be a human being who isn't caught in a rat trap of conformism and fear.

You're better than this and you have much more to offer the world.

Ricky Daytona, West Kelowna

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