The Polymath’s Search
Den Warren © 2017
The Polywhat?! A is not a branch of arithmetic, but a person who has expertise in a large number of subjects. The fact that you are even reading this could mean that you possess the curiosity of a polymath. Or, perhaps you are a young polymath in training.
Polymath symptoms: Ask a lot of questions. Always looking things up. Always bouncing around from one interest to another. Analytical thinker. Either an underachiever or an “overachiever”.
Most people are content to have a some hobbies, and a few interests. They will follow the same stuff for years and years. To them, other stuff is done by other people, and they couldn’t care less about learning much else.
I have lived a lifetime, developing as a polymath, and would like to offer my perspective and some direction to those who are both blessed and cursed with the mindset. So here is some of my background:
I was born in the fifties. (There were still veterans alive from the War Between the States.) When I was a kid, we had a set of World Book Encyclopedias, which I would sit around and read. Supposedly, doing this is a weird or nerdy activity. I liked knowing about everything. I was interested in organized sports, but was not successful at any of them. I hated the boredom of formal schooling. I would rather look out the window and imagine and wonder about things that we would never go over in class. I dabbled in one thing, and then I jumped to another.
I have participated in too many things to list, but sometimes achieved some moderate accomplishments; played a musical instrument, Jr. high wresting coach, appeared in a bodybuilding contest, AAU wrestling, church deacon, speak fluent Japanese, promoted at various jobs, Associate in Business Degree, bred rare tropical fish, was a nationally ranked collectible card game player, started and ran a small vending machine business, rescued a girl in a brawl, can do some mechanical work, some construction, create web pages, organic gardening, have a good understanding of psychology, theology, history, current events, politics, business, geography, and lots of other stuff. I also have written a trilogy that sold hundreds of e-copies.
The purpose of this is not to brag, especially because I have never really felt very successful in anything, but to let you know where I am coming from. As an introvert, I hate mentioning myself. Looking back, I think part of my lower self image was because of the negative comments of some people. Some don’t like it very well if you are better than them at “their thing” or just know too much, or just successful at anything. Especially when you are from a small town and not thought of as being exceptional.
I was never thought of as being that smart, but now I am thought of that way by younger people I know. Unfortunately, now I am thought of as an underachiever, which there may be some truth to that. I still don’t think I am that smart, but I don’t argue too much about it. I believe I am just extremely well self-educated. I know for a fact I would not win the game if I was actually on Jeopardy 99% of the time, because my brain runs too slowly, and there are some gaps in my trivia knowledge.
So perhaps you are youth with a wide range of interests, or you have graduated into being a “jack of all trades”, or you are a fully developed polymath, perhaps to the highest level of “renaissance person”. You see that your life has a lot in common with mine.
Are you in a lifelong cycle of feeling like you can’t find the thing you are really meant to do like I did? You do something for awhile, but you don’t think it is important enough to keep going at it? After you get to be my age, you will probably realize that your wide range of knowledge would be the gateway to becoming a writer, and you will teach yourself how to write fiction or humor, or about business under another name.
You may be searching everywhere for the one thing that will truly satisfy you. But in the end there is only one thing that truly is by far the most important: What will you do for God? Everything you do on earth will be gone at some point, but what you do for God will last for eternity. Why? Because your soul and everyone else’s soul will last forever, either in God’s Heaven, or the Lake of Fire. If you are a polymath you undoubtedly have a viewpoint regarding Jesus. Either you reject Jesus (better revisit that one) or you are a Christian.
If you are a Christian, let me remind you that you have a responsibility to those who don’t believe or have not heard the truth of Jesus. You have abilities that must be put into His service. You could be writing evangelistic content for the internet or promoting others’ writing (like mine).
I must say that I get a deep satisfaction when people download my essays. More than I do when I sell a novel. I intend to keep doing it as long as I am able. No one may care years after I am gone about the novels I authored, but those souls who are in Heaven because I helped direct them toward Jesus will be an eternal treasure.
I am not saying you should give up on learning about new things and only proclaim the Gospel, (unless you want to). The more things we know, the larger our circle of acquaintances is, and the more opportunity to share.
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. There are serious essays and humorous novels. A lot of my stuff is free to download. Most of everything I write will include the Gospel within it somewhere. You can’t always see it in the title, because many will not read it if they think I am trying to “force my views upon them”.
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The Polywhat?! A polymath is not a branch of arithmetic, but a person who has expertise in a large number of subjects. The fact that you are even reading this could mean that you possess the curiosity of a polymath. Or, perhaps you are a young polymath in training. Polymath symptoms: Ask a lot of questions. Always looking things up. Always bouncing around from one interest to another. Analytical thinker. Either an underachiever or an “overachiever”.