Being an amateur nowadays means that someone is doing a poor job or that he lacks the necessary skills to do it. Thus an amateur has become the opposite of a professional.
The word amateur used to mean “lover of”. Someone who had a passion, a desire to do a certain activity just for the pleasure it produced. What it didn’t have though was the negative connotations it has now. Even then it was used for someone who didn’t have advanced knowledge or skills in what they were doing but without the economical pressure of the modern society it really didn’t matter.
What this offered was the freedom for people to experiment more with what they liked. It allowed people to talk about their passions and their work without any fears. You didn’t have to be a professional in order to show off your work.
Without the social pressure it’s easier to find your passions. It’s easier to find out what your talents are. It’s easier to end up doing what you like and be a real professional.
Every expert was first an amateur.