GRE Issue Essay 141

“People make the mistake of treating experts with suspicion and mistrust, no matter how valuable their contributions might be.”

Survival and success in today’s modern world is largely determined by your skills in surpassing the others in the race to excel in your choice of career. Every field of study or profession will have its own experts who have an in-depth knowledge of the subject being handled. At the same time, there will be people who have not been able to reach that position due to varied reasons like the inability to study or lack of interest in the subject. It is a common trend to treat experts with suspicion and mistrust especially since the others probably have little or no knowledge about the study or practices being carried out by the experts. To be more precise, people make the common mistake of suspecting the experts of carrying out something that can be potentially harmful for them or for the society.

If you go to a new dentist for curing a toothache and the dentist suggests that the tooth be extracted, how many of us will immediately get it extracted? There will be only a handful of such people who will completely trust the dentist. A majority of people would avoid getting the tooth extracted until they have taken a second opinion from another dentist who confirms that the same action is actually required. A dentist is an expert in his field. He may have made invaluable contributions to the town in which he resides. Nevertheless, he will be treated with mistrust and suspicion by a majority of people because the people themselves are unaware of dental problems and their remedies. It is this lack of knowledge that leads people to eye experts suspiciously.

People make a huge mistake by not trusting the experts in their field of work. Such mistakes have often led to grave miscalculations. For instance, take a look at the profession of politics. Most politicians are experts in their chosen fields. They are capable of leading their country on the path to progress. No matter how honest a politician is, he will generally be treated with suspicion and every action carried out by him will be doubted by the public. People feel that there is an ulterior motive behind every action being taken by the politicians. It may be true to an extent as some politicians are indeed unscrupulous, but doubting the authenticity of a politician’s actions may lead to major losses for the country’s economic progress.

Experts have the answers to the questions that may remain unanswered if common people try to solve them. Therefore, it is for the benefit of the public that they instill faith in the experts in each field and let them take the major decisions. If a flyover has to be built over a congested area of the city, the architects are the best people to decide how the flyover has to be built. The architects should not succumb to political or public pressure to build a flyover that is limited by financial or other constraints. The construction experts will succeed in building a successful flyover only with the support and faith of the people for whom it is being built. Doubting the credibility of the construction company will only lead to protests and it will ultimately delay the implementation of the project.

The main reason behind this attitude is the ignorance about the subject being handled by the experts which makes the public feel that they might be cheated and that the experts are probably carrying out their work for personal gains rather than for the society as a whole. Therefore, even though experts may have made numerous valuable contributions to society, they have always been treated with suspicion and mistrust by the common man.