In Others’ Words: What Genius Might Be

Sometimes we make things so complicated.

So I’m keeping it simple today … well, the quote about genius was the catalyst for keeping things simple.

My husband Rob is a super-intelligent guy. He’s a family physician — and he’s a rocket scientist. Really, he is. He graduated from the Air Force Academy with a degree in astronautical engineering. Which is why he has this coffee mug:


So, yeah. My husband is smart.

But one of the things my husband is known for as a doctor is that he can take something complicated and distill it down so that it is understandable. He wades through all the “doctor-speak” so that his patients can understand what is going on and make the decisions they need to make.

Profound doesn’t always have to be complicated. The ability to speak the truth plainly or to explain so that others can understand what was once confusing?


And so, so needed.

In Your Words: When has someone displayed genius in your life by being “simple”? Or how would you finish this sentence: Genius might be the ability to______________________________.

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  1. January 14, 2016, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Wow, Rob!

    Whatever genius may be, it sure ain’t me.

    Seriously. I do have a PhD in structural engineering, but set a record for the lowest GPA – by far – to get through the programme, and after I graduated, they changed the rules (and named the rule change in my honour).

    Second example…I recently asked my wife (who was raised a Catholic) if, when the church counseled use of the rhythm method, they supplied the music or let the couples choose their own.

    Barbara was rendered speechless, and when she recovered her voice, the only words I could quite pick out were “dumber than a box of rocks”.

    On the strength of the latter, I might answer the question posed thus –

    “Genius may be the ability to know when not to say anything.”

    • January 14, 2016, 11:40 am   /  Reply

      One thing is for sure, you always add a special something to every conversation here at the blog. And that is a sincere compliment.
      And yes, genius (or the highest form of wisdom) is knowing when to say nothing.

  2. Gail Hollingsworth
    January 14, 2016, 9:59 am   /  Reply

    My next door neighbor is a rocket scientist. (I try to steer clear, ha) He’s actually the Dean of Engineering at the University of Alabama. My husband got a laugh one day when he overheard him and a friend trying to put something together in his backyard. He said, “Man it would take a rocket scientist to figure out these instructions!”

    • January 14, 2016, 11:36 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Gail, that brings back memories! I got a PhD on the strength of being able to do a lot of large-scale seismic tests of foundation ‘bits’. I was and am a knuckledragger, but a high-functioning knuckledragger.

      One day a conclave of academics was clustered around what they called a ‘test unit’, trying to figure out why the experiment wasn’t working the way it should. (‘Specimens’ were left in small cups, in doctors’ lavatories…if you want to know how pretentious these idiots are.)

      Enter me, with a sledgehammer. For ‘hitting’, $15/hr. For knowing where to hit, a PhD.

    • January 14, 2016, 11:41 am   /  Reply

      Oh. My. Word. Laughing so hard right now! 🙂

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