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Home > Books > Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

I disagree with the premise of this topic.  It assumes that being a genius can only bring worry and sorrow and that all simpletons are happy and joyful.

I would choose to be a joyful  genius.  I think there is no greater joy than that experienced by a genius in his/her moment of serendipity.  The ecstatic moments of Archimedes and Kekule show that they experienced great joy on their discovery of ‘the principle of buoyancy’ and ‘the Benzene ring’ respectively.  They did spend years working out their problems and when they took a step back and relaxed, they had their moments of intuition, their ‘Eureka’ moment.  Such men like Einstein, Edison, Archimedes and  Kekule have discovered the workings of principles that have benefited mankind as a whole.  Is there a greater joy than this?

A fool or simpleton on the other hand lives a self-centred life.  They may be content but they have to be prodded to work.  They may appear happy but many of them have been known to harbour great sorrow.  The point is that you may be a simpleton or a genius but if your work can touch another soul and make them happy then you have made a difference.

Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba, told his son –“ you don’t need to be in the top three in your class, being in the middle is fine, so long as your grades aren’t too bad. Only this kind of person [a middle-of-the-road student] has enough free time to learn other skills”

A genius is not defined by grades or society.  Many of the great geniuses were college dropouts.  They thus found more time to tinker around with their hobbies and passions till their problems became their life goals and they started dreaming of these problems – many a time sacrificing their sleep.  Many of us think that their discoveries were moments of magic forgetting the hard work and sweat that these great men of genius put in!

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Categories: Books
  1. June 11, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I disagree with the premise too, but if given the choice of course I’d be a joyful simpleton. Wisdom can relieve you of worry, but it never quite leaves you. I think a better term is simple person rather than simpleton. A simple person finds joy in the everyday, and has relatively low expectations, especially of other people. High expectations bring unhappiness.

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