This might be a little rambly, but it’s been rattling around in my head for a couple of hours.
Tonight, I visited my cousin to help him with an application form for a job. When we were done, he drove me home in his car. Sometimes when I talk about tabletop games, I worry that I am going on a bit much, or am boring someone to death, but moments like the one I had with my cousin put that into perspective. His car is his pride and joy. He has done a lot of work on that car and has put a lot of himself into it. Where I could talk for hours about board games and RPGs, he could talk just as exhaustively about cars. That is fantastic.
Don’t get me wrong, just as he doesn’t really care about board games, I don’t particularly care about cars, beyond the facility of getting from one place to another in reasonable comfort. What I do like is hearing someone expound on their passions. His enthusiasm made me interested in what he had done to his car. His enthusiasm made me care.
This was not an isolated moment. My wife is a sports geek. I couldn’t care less about the idea of 22 overpaid men running around in shorts, kicking balls. I do care when my wife starts expounding on her favourite football team, tennis player or golfer. She talks about her interests with such enthusiasm and passion that it catches you up and forces you to see things, even momentarily, from her point of view.
The same goes for many of my friends and colleagues who are total geeks when it comes to horses. To me, they might just be potential meat and glue, but to the people who love them, these creatures are majestic beasts, more friend than pet. It’s a joy to hear people talk at length about them.
I have a colleague who coined a term for my interests, referring to them as my “quirky passions”. I like this, but I feel that it applies to many, many more people than she intended it to.
We’re all geeks. We all geek out on something, and it matters. The image at the top of the page is an extract from Scott Johnsons’s 56 Geeks poster, which also acts to illustrate my point.
Just a few thoughts.