The little knowledge, big responsibility-elevated ego dilemma (syndrome).

The best tool (and/or advanced technology) in the hands of an amateur (inadequate knowledge) or the wrong expert (professional) is not only rendered ineffective (useless) but also potentially dangerous.

The little knowledge, big responsibility-elevated ego dilemma (syndrome).

The misuse (misapplication) of the right tool, out of ignorance (inadequate knowledge) – wrong expert (professional)- is (potentially) far more destructive than the use (application) of the wrong tool by the right expert (professional). The level of awareness is different. Even improvisation by the right expertise with the wrong tool will be more effective and produce better outcomes than the right tool in the wrong hands.

The following short story of an amateur builder, demonstrates that having the right tool, in and of itself alone, is not enough.

The right tool, requires the right knowledge (expertise), for it to serve its intended purpose well. The right tool, in the wrong hands (wrong or inadequate knowledge/expertise), can be catastrophic with costly consequences.

An amateur builder, realising the only tool he has in his toolbox is a sledgehammer, and acting out of hubris of feeling sledgehammered up, that is, reinforced by the possession of a sledgehammer, he thinks his only job is demolition.

So, powered by and fully equipped with his sledgehammer, he embarks on a wild demolition spree, while threatening to turn the sledgehammer onto the crazy heads of those crying out loud in supplication, for him to stop. But only, while elated by and totally immersed in the destruction, to have concrete debris ricochet off the sledgehammer onto his head, sending him into a comma.

Out of the “Ubuntu” spirit, the victims quickly tend to him, giving him the best (first aid) care possible. After a while, the amateur builder whose sledgehammer power gave him the illusion of incorrigibility and inviolability, coming out of a long comma, is asked by someone whose inherited cross-generation family vase was demolished by the sledgehammer wielding amateur builder: why did you destroy my family vase?

The amateur builder, still dazed by the impact on his head, wearily but in a tone of arrogance and the illusion of someone powered by the sledgehammer, asked in response: what is the use of a sledgehammer?

Oh! The use of a sledgehammer is to (help) build not to cause pain and destruction. Came out the response in a measured but clearly emotional and hurt voice. To which the amateur builder, again, asked, in a weary tone: are you happy I got hurt? No. Just telling you that you misused the sledgehammer.

It’s clear you don’t know what a sledgehammer is used for; therefore, you should have had the humility to ask for help, on how to use it appropriately without causing unnecessary destruction which, in the end, hurt you.

It should also serve to remind you that the illusion of empowerment coming from being in possession of what is the right tool; but in the powerful hands of a mind with a little knowledge and hubris, are potent recipes for self-destruction. Every action, has a potential reaction.