Words from Dic(tionary)
by J. R. Practix
Acumen: (n.) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain: e.g. business acumen
We have convinced ourselves that ability is best achieved through training—and by training, we usually mean some sort of educational process granting us a degree or license to pursue an activity.
Here’s the problem: I have been to many doctor’s offices, where there were all sorts of awards hanging on the wall, and the technician standing before me has the personality of a beleaguered slug climbing a eucalyptus tree on a very hot day.
I have been in the presence of clergymen who have a doctorate in Biblical studies or Christian counseling, who have an interest in books but more or less deplore the sight of human beings.
Acumen, in our society, is permission to pursue a profession because you have adequately written down the correct answers on a piece of paper in an allotted amount of time to demonstrate your present level of knowledge on a given subject.
- It does not mean you care.
- It does not mean you’re evolving toward greater understanding.
- And it certainly doesn’t mean that you even comprehend the “damn” that the tinker is supposed to pursue.
To me, acumen has to be measured in a much different way. Matter of fact, if you’ll allow me a little piece of silliness, I think the word should be broken down to “act like you mean it.”
That’s how I determine if I’m going to put my trust in another human being’s abilities. Just as grace covers a multitude of sins, passion certainly can disguise some levels of lessons yet unlearned.
Would I rather have someone convinced they’ve already achieved the right to pursue their craft, or would I prefer someone who is feverishly interested in the task and wants to learn how to do it more proficiently?
To me, that’s a no brainer
I’m tired of looking into the eyes of Congressmen and even into those of our President, and seeing weariness and boredom instead of light and intensity.
I am fed up with individuals who labor behind the desk in Customer Service, who obviously would rather shoot people with a gun than address their complaints.
And I am never going to be amiable to the notion of attending a church worship service where some monotone, anemic declaration of faith in God is revered simply because it has descended to a level of adequate somberness.
We will become a much better country when we stop touting our history, pointing to the achievements of our past, and instead, build a fire under our young people to hunger and thirst for righteous conclusions.
Acumen is not a one-time arrival at acceptability. It is a driving force inside us that tells us there is more to come if we will just act like we mean it.