Word to the Wise (part 5) – Proverbs 22:29

Rourke karsh

Yousuf Karsh, 1936

Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

As a general rule, if you’re skilled at what you do, there’s an end to the initial stage of looking for work wherever you can get it. Actors begin with commercials and graduate to movies. Dusty garages in Palo Alto incubate companies with valuations roughly equivalent to the GDP of Sweden.

Yusuf Karsh comes to mind when I think of this proverb. He did my grandparents wedding photos. Admittedly, that’s not what put him on the map. He would go on to photograph iconic portraits of world leaders, celebrities, and artists.

I love how this proverb refers to kings, but is also universally applicable. For the artist or worker, perfecting his craft holds out hope for a rise from obscurity to prominence. Consistent improvement yields a reputation that opens the door to a more noble and affluent customer.

NPG P337; Queen Elizabeth II by Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh, 1951

We’re all artists in one way or another. We all produce. The difference is that some get to show their art to a wider audience because they stopped looking at themselves as an amateur, and began treating what they love to do as if they were a professional.

The king or queen hires the very best in whatever industry, craft, or profession he desires. Kings don’t quibble about price. They pay a premium for the best. You may start small, but persevere and you might be taking portraits of royalty. Karsh did.

2 thoughts on “Word to the Wise (part 5) – Proverbs 22:29

  1. And some of the most skilled are not believers, go figure. Many that claim to be Christians can be the most incompetent. Don”t hire because I am a Christian, hire me because I am good at what I do and discover that I a Christian.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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