“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” – George Bernard Shaw
Maybe I’m just goofy, but I had no idea that this idiom was actually meant to be disparaging toward those who “can’t”, and therefore teach. I saw this phrase as a positive, maybe somewhat self deprecating way of saying that while some folks may not necessarily be good at performing a task, they do have the ability to educate those who possibly can. After doing a little research, I have found that my interpretation was a tad off.
That said, I think I prefer my view better.
I started playing baseball when I was 5, and my playing “career” ended when I was 17. I was a light-hitting second baseman with an okay glove. I wasn’t fast. I didn’t hit for power. Sure, I had my moments, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who looks back on my playing days and remembers a budding prodigy. When I was 20, I started coaching with my dad. What I figured out fairly quickly was that I was way better at explaining how to do things than I was at actually doing them. I was blessed to have had some tremendous coaches during my baseball tenure, and they taught me a ton about the game. I could translate what they taught me to others much better than I physically transferred it to the field. I know plenty of folks like this. So, in these cases, should it be viewed negatively? Should I and others in my position feel inferior? Absolutely not.
On Mike and Mike this morning, the Mike’s were debating whether or not Peyton Manning would make a good coach when his NFL playing days are over. Mike Golic related that Hall of Famer, and arguably the best defensive lineman of all time, Reggie White, could do incredible things on a football field. However, when it came to explaining to others how to do it, he couldn’t translate it. He just did it. So, in this instance, White could do, but couldn’t teach. This isn’t to demonstrate that either is better than the other. Neither is. This just exemplifies both sides of the coin.
The world needs both doers and teachers. They need each other. I may not be able to do anymore, but I can certainly teach.
I’m okay with that.
Have an awesome Thursday,