I once sat on a yoga mat, waiting for a class to start, while the instructor at the front of the room worried out loud about all the things she didn’t know. She knew more than I did and the class went so smoothly I never would have guessed at her perceived lack of expertise.

I hear recent statements by candidates aspiring to office, trumpeting their mastery of every issue, often shouting obvious, debunkable fabrications. They may know some things, but certainly not in all of the arenas where they now want to meddle.

Acknowledging inexperience can be a humble posture or a preemptive defense against failure. Claims of superiority can be confident or conceited.

How much expertise should we boast?

What is the balance between shame and swagger—or are they the same thing, with different veneers?


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