Skillset (HLD 122)

22 July 2020

Growing up, one of my favourite comedy acts were Monty Python. Sure, I also like Jasper Carrot, but that had more to do with “There’s only one way to get rid of a mole” than anything else.

Monty Python could seemingly do it all. Yes there was slap stick (slap fish) but they also did incredibly intelligent humour, and songs, and movies… My (yellow not orange) car’s name is Eric, named after a Monty Python song that I can still (badly) sing word for word.

I loved the very subtle touch in a lot of their humour – like the scene in “The Life of Brian” where the massed crowd had followed Brian home, and in his attempts to disperse them he tried to convince them they were all individuals, with the crowd repeating everything he said to them, “Yes we are all individuals”. “You’re all different”, says Brian. “Yes we’re all different” echoes the crowd. A lone voice pipes up with “I’m not”, to be hastily shushed by the masses, who were all individuals and different and didn’t want anyone to stand out.

Apart from regaling you with some of my favourite comedy sketches, today’s bit of diarrhoea is to highlight that we are all different. We are all individuals (you don’t have to repeat after me, but if you’re a Python fan I imagine you just did).

I was talking with a couple of friends on the weekend, and mentioned that I find writing easy. Their response was that writing is not easy for them, whereas other things were. So I let it stew in my brain for a few days, and this is what came out…

All of us have different skill sets. Something that is part of our makeup, possibly something that can be enhanced with further training, but basically just something that is a part of us to begin with.

And yes, there’s a conversation that could be had about whether something is a talent, a gift or a skill, and the difference between those things, but I’m not going there – mainly because I don’t know the answer!

Some people can do art. I’m not one of them, but I know quite a few people who just have that ability to translate something into an art form be it painting, pottery, photography, sculpture, mosaics, etc. You name it and an arty person can either do it straight away, or with a little guidance become very skilled in it. 

Some people have the music touch. Whether it’s flawless singing or the ability to pick up and learn a new instrument with ease, it’s a skill that those of us who sound like a badly tuned radio, admire and wish we could do.

Some people are naturally very sporty. 

Some people have the ability to prioritise.

Some people have the ability to speak and express themselves clearly in public.

Some people have a photographic memory.

Some people have the ability to invent things.

Some people have green thumbs. 

Some people are great cooks.

Some people are great the animals.

Some people are great with children (maybe the same thing).

Some people are incredibly patient.

Along with others, I have the gift of the gab, with the ability to put this into words on a page. A lot of people have the gift of the gab verbally. Possibly I’m one of them or maybe I just like the sound of my own voice.

What skill set do you wish you had, or what skill set do you have that you don’t use as much as you should?

You’re all individuals. You’re all different.

Not me, of course. But the rest of you are all individuals.

Photo by Mike Chai on

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