Credentials: (n) evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form
I suppose if you removed my driver’s license from my wallet, I would possess no credentials whatsoever. My state has authorized that I am entitled to drive a vehicle.
I have never received credentials from a music school, though I have persisted in making music.
I have no credentials whatsoever to write books, blogs and screenplays—yet again, I pursue.
I certainly had no credentials to be a dad, but the kids kept showing up.
I had no credentials as a lover, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
I am not licensed or approved to be a philosopher, a teacher, an instructor or a motivator—but these things have come up and in the absence of real talent, I have stepped in, acting as the best substitute I could.
I suppose I should have given more thought to gaining credentials. They do look good when writing a bio. Getting places or people of note to qualify you is much better than jotting down, “Have no fear. I am here.”
And I am certainly not one of those who feels self-righteous about lacking credentials, as if I were showing some sort of superiority by sheer grit and force.
It’s just that everything in my life started about one year earlier than it probably should have.
When I possibly could have gone to college, I was having my first son. And since I had that little family, when I might have wanted to garner some sort of degree or certificate, I was trying to put pizza and animal crackers on the table.
What I had to learn was that the absence of credentials demanded an honest presentation of oneself rather than lying or becoming defensive or saying something stupid like, “I have graduated from the school of hard knocks.”
I think it is absolutely delightful, if not essential, for people to gain credentials. I certainly do like to know that my plumber has plumbed before, and somebody knows that he’s not “plumb crazy.”
But in the absence of credentials, I will humbly offer myself, candidly share my value and do the best goddamn job I possibly can.