Kindness Over Genius.

I thought genius was the hot shit.

Motherfuckers who taught themselves how to play 20 different instruments – a combination lawyer, ER doctor, and clinical social worker. A novelist who writes for 10 hours a day, goes to sleep for 2, gets up and writes for another 10.

Now, genius bores me.

The tedium of the workaholic, the blistering erections of human achievement. All while the genius’s life crumbles around him or her.

The phone goes silent. Birthdays and holidays go missed. Vacations never get taken. Genius doesn’t believe in such frivolous things.

I know, because I have been a sufferer of genius. I’m not saying I am a genius, but I’ve almost died in its pursuit, sacrificed so many nights not sleeping, exploded an atomic mushroom cloud of emotional distance around me, found my own ingenuity and energy outpacing me, running over me foot by foot.

Genius doesn’t have time for feelings or social skills. For bubble tea dates on rainy afternoons, or guitar hero marathons, or knowing what one’s loved one is crying about when the crying eventually does come. Genius is often absent – swinging around in its own genius world, gorilla knuckled with broad teeth and a thick skull, blaring through the jungle, not caring who he or she crushes.

To live like this is not extraordinary – not when compared to the open hand that on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday stays here.

No flinching, no quaking, no fists.

Not extraordinary when compared to the open hand that stays here through powdery blizzards, scorching summers, balmy springs,

and isn’t worried about whatever “hand” things it could be doing right now,

or what all the other hands are up to, or if it really is appreciated and recognized by the entire world in its true value as a hand?

Not extraordinary when compared to the open hand that stays here and extends, fingers and wrist rooted in the whole person. One who is right here, right in front of me, not racing ahead to seek out the next solution, the next innovation, the next trend.

Not extraordinary when compared to the open hand that stays here and remains, unafraid to be kind, in the midst of so much genius.

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