Definition of Versatility
The educated people are those who know about very varied topics: art , science, sport ... Having an interest with regard to unrelated knowledge and outside of our profession, shows a versatility. And that implies that the versatile person has an open character and intellectual curiosity in various spheres. Sometimes, versatility is used as a feature that is not precisely positive, since it is used as a synonym for dispersion and something proper to those who are not able to focus on something.
It is appreciated, therefore, that the term versatility can have two meanings (one positive and one negative) depending on the context.
In the negative sense, versatility is considered as an ambivalent attitude , impractical, typical of amateurs or inconstant people. There are even sayings about it: learner of everything, teacher of nothing. A derogatory sense of variety is distinguished.
Both interpretations may be valid, depending on the reasons argued. An example can serve to clarify the debate . A doctor likes medicine in general, being interested in all branches equally. This attitude is positive, in that all knowledge is useful and, in parallel, it is negative in that it is almost impossible to specialize in a branch of medicine if the interest is towards all. Following a similar example, if a doctor is specialized in the pathologies of the retina and in his personal life he has very different hobbies, we would be talking about someone versatile and at the same time he is specialized.
In the history of mankind there are some illustrious examples of versatility (in this case in a positive sense). Stresses the figure of Leonardo da Vinci, a Renaissance artist who painted, sculpted, wrote and invented and all with great mastery. His case is paradigmatic and one could almost say that it is an exception , since deep knowledge in different activities is infrequent.