We Are All Just Winging It

Wise words and an important reminder from Oliver Burkeman at the Guardian yesterday:

I’ve often thought of my experience of adulthood thus far as one of incrementally discovering that there’s no institution, or walk of life, in which everybody isn’t just winging it. Growing up, I assumed that the newspaper on the breakfast table must be assembled by people who truly knew what they were doing; then I got a job at a newspaper. Unconsciously, I transferred my assumptions of competence to (among others) people who worked in government. Then I got to know a few people who did – and who’d admit, after a pint or two, that their jobs involved staggering from crisis to crisis, concocting credible-sounding policies in cars en route to press conferences, exactly as portrayed in The Thick of It.

And even then I found myself assuming, self-hatingly, that this might be explained by a certain bumbling Britishness, the perverse pride we sometimes take in shambling mediocrity. Then I started working in America. Where, it turns out, everyone is totally just winging it.

This realisation is alarming at first, but it’s ultimately deeply reassuring.

Wing on, people. WING ON.



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