Genius or Obsession?

Here’s an interesting question for you: What’s the difference between a “genius” and someone so obsessed with something that he literally cannot rest until he’s got it figured out? Is there a difference at all? I ask because I’ve been the “obsessed” type for as long as I can remember, and have always dismissed those who referred to the knowledge and/or skills I achieved through that obsession as “genius” as simply not being aware of just how hard they had been for me to attain. But the truth is that I just don’t know.

I was reminded of these questions last night, while watching Law Abiding Citizen for the third or fourth time, and remembering how, long ago, as a child able to recognize the danger of obsession focused on violence, I made a deliberate choice to steer clear of all knowledge involving the ability to hurt other people. Well, almost all…

Anyway, I recognized Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother by Grand Funk Railroad playing behind the end credits, and that started me on another trip down memory lane. One filled with both good and bad times associated with Grand Funk’s music, and to an amazing young man I met on a beach in the Panama Canal Zone. This kid had this incredible gift for spontaneous song creation and expression, and could simply go on and on, for hours on end, playing his guitar like some “savant maestro” entertaining an appreciative crowd.

I asked him once how it was he was able to do what he did, and I knew, immediately, just from look he gave me instead of an answer, that his “gift” came from that freaky “obsessive” thing he’d probably lived with his entire life just as I had. Sadly, shamefully, I don’t even remember his name, but I do wonder from time to time if he ever became the huge star everyone just assumed he would become.

There aren’t enough word in the world to express just how much I wish I could share some of his music with you. Hell, I’d pay almost any price just to hear him play again myself. But I can’t. I can, however, include two of my very favorite Grand Funk Railroad songs, that I recalled on my trip down memory lane…

Related Posts: Tolerance… Not! Perfection
Addiction and The True Calling
My International Incident
Autism and The Urban Hermit

I want ice water.

See more of my Random Ravings

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5 thoughts on “Genius or Obsession?

  1. MY two favourite Grand Funk Railroad tunes…. I share your obsessiveness – and hate it more than love it as all too often I obsess with total wastes of time. But knowing that doesn’t make a whit of difference. I have to just wait it out…


    • Thanks you so much for your comment. Grand Funk did so much good music. There a several other songs that I would’ve like to include here as well, but these two, from the first album by them I bought, will always be my favorites. 😀

      I know what you mean about obsessiveness leading to wasting time. Because there are so many things I want to know about, I tend to get into these “war between the obsessions” scenarios where I don’t follow through fully on any of them. It happened even with this post, which I rushed through because I had so much on my plate. I had to edit the first two paragraphs just now, before replying to your comment! God, how I hate that… 😕


  2. I’m the opposite, unfortunately (well, sometimes unfortunately). I can master an idea or a skill pretty quick — as long as it’s an idea or skill that sort of “enraptures” me. Otherwise, I can remain steadfastly, stubbornly dumb on a subject that it might behoove me to learn. Career-wise, this was always a huge failing on my part. And as for lofty dinner table conversation? I’ll just sit here drooling in my mashed potatoes, thanks — unless the conversation turns to insects, photography, grant writing, and septic systems.

    Fortunately, I’m at an age and place now where I don’t really need to care about mastering more than the things I like. Serve me up seconds of them ‘taters, please!


    • Thank you for stopping by Luddy! As crazy as it sounds, the fact that I’ll never know all there is to know about everything that interests me drives me just batty at times. While I have no problem ignoring the things that strike me as useless – amazingly enough, I have a tendency to nod off when I’m bored, even in the middle of business meetings! – I’ll never understand how most people can have such a short list of interests.

      The huge “downside” of this is that I almost always have too many “balls in the air,” leaving me too little time to get to where I want to be in any one area, and never enough time for sleep. The “upside” of course, is that I’m almost never bored. But, because I burn energy like a Humvee on steroids, I am almost always hungry too. And I always take seconds of everything! 😀


  3. Pingback: My Best Of Bread | I Want Ice Water

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