There is a beauty even in the ugliest of souls. It is a viewpoint that has taken me 40 years to gather. To see the surface of people is easy: judge them by what they appear to do and appear to say. But to prick just beneath the surface and you’ll find that there is a depth in all people, even the apparently simplest of souls. It is an honor to occasionally be allowed to sneak a peak at the lights shining deeply within, whether hidden by surface ignorance or layers of protection, or through platitudes of judgemental criticism launched quickly to provide the critiquer with a self-esteem boost. These are perhaps the hardest to understand, but it is critical to be able to do so, if one wants to eventually have a soul that can exist at peace with ALL mankind – not just those whose vibrations are harmonic with our own – that is easy – “to like those who like you.” But to like those who don’t like you – much more satisfactory.
It’s controversial and unpopular even today to try to find something likable in the unlikable, to care for the uncaring. It doesn’t mean bad people shouldn’t be punished – that’s something for society to decide. But I see the light shining within even the darkest of souls – i see the “What ifs?” – the potentials that could be, or the potentials that were completely missed but still there, or even the good sitting in the midsts of evil. A suicide bomber who dies for his cause – it is an evil act and the innocent die and it needs to stop. Yet, put yourself in the shoes, in the subculture – what must it feel like, the pride and satisfaction of believing your death is for a greater good (even if it’s not for the greater good – but you believe it is, because that’s what your friends believe). “An honorable death” is part of any culture that has gone to war. To me, it’s something that should go away, but it won’t, of course – but here is an evil act that are done for reasons that the perpetrator believes are good and right and true. If only that sensation, that feeling, that need of self-sacrifice was shifted to a DIFFERENT cause, a fight that brings humanity together instead of being divisive? Can you see what I’m talking about? it’s controversial – how can you love someone who commits an evil act? – yet it is not only possible – it is NECESSARY if we are ever going to work towards a peaceful earth.
On a day-to-day basis, everyday life, for us to work together, finding something likeable in the unlikeable can actually be a fantastic survival mechanism and a tool for growth. If you are not contributing to overall hate, in your own way, you’ve made the world a bit better.
most people are most comfortable with black hats and white hats like the old cowboy movies. I like those kinds of stories too – good guy wins, bad guy loses, you know who is who. But that’s just the thing – they’re stories. Truth, real truth, is both simpler and messier than we can ever fully know. But it’s worth the pursuit. Your mom was right – it’s easier to love the winners — i like rooting for a hero. I’ve seen the reverse too – the idolation of evil characters and the villification of heroes – “rather die in hell where all the fun is” type of thing, or teenage girls collecting Serial Killer cards or women writing to death row inmates, even so far as writing up their defense – I think truth lies somewhere inbetween – the uncomfortable inbetween. I think there is good in all. The bad is there too – but I see bad as a shadow, and good as a light, rather than needing to have equal parts of both type of thing. It lets me have hope for humanity as a whole.
It is quite a puzzle. In the end, by attempting to understand others, we are deepening our understanding of our selves. and by understanding our selves, we can begin to understand others. To do any of this, requires stepping both deeply within our Self and outside our Self, fostering a growing awareness of the ticks and the tocks that make up our clock work souls, that may not be clockwork at all… I, too, love these moments of connection – makes me wax poetic.
I love how you put this. it’s true – people put walls up due to past hurts and are afraid to let them down. But if you can get them to trust you a little, they let the walls down a little, and then you can get a glimpse of the beautiful soul within. If you can provide a trusting environment for them by your presence and show little bits of kindness and compassion – going “outside yourself” just for them for a moment – they are blessed, and you are blessed, for you’ve shared, at the very least – a moment – and at the very best, a lasting friendship. I am so happy to find kin here.
and “the moment” is, in fact, perhaps the best outcome – whether or not it leads to lasting friendship, now that ithink about it more. Ever have “strangers on a plane” syndrome? You’ll never meet them again, but you touch each other in a way that lasts for a lifetime. Two electrons that touch even once “communicate” with each other instantaneously, as far as physicists can tell – faster than light. (we can’t read them completely – that’s the uncertainty priniple at work) So this connectiveness is even true at the subatomic level. It , to me, means it’s that much more true at the much larger level of ‘us’. Perhaps a friendship is simply a chain of many “moments” – moments reinforcing moments yet each of which could just as easily have existed as independent moments.
I’ll watch the video in “a moment” (pun intended!) – I TRULY believe that especially a child’s life is made up of a series of moments – it’s true for adults as well but especially kids – we ourselves can remember something someone said way back in 3rd grade that haunts us to this day: teasing is a perfect example – and yet so is the time someone showed you how to, say, put a worm on a fishhook – that sort of thing, or said exactly the right thing at exactly the time you needed it. negatives have a way of “sticking” better, but positives can stick too, with just as much power.
I’ll separate the introvert idea in the next comment
,I have a lot of thoughts on introversion, social skills, etc – it’s one of those topics i can talk endlessly about.
I think we are born with a certain balance of introversion and extroversion that is unique to each of us. We “tend” towards one way or the other. (nature / genetics / etc). But environment can play a part (bring an introverted person out of their shell a bit, or submerge a natural extrovert).
However – I think people are drawn to hobbies that match their inner character or rather, “How they charge their batteries”. This is the best description I have heard for the difference between introvert and extravert: How your batteries are charged. Do you feel more energized after being in a room with a large number of people, or do you feel drained? Are you more focused and productive when you are with people or alone?
I’m naturally introverted – but not overly so. My batteries are charged when I’m alone – but I also need people. so my interests and hobbies tend to be getting my thoughts out (usually on facebook these days, but I’ve done journalling, song writing, poetry, Usenet, mailing lists, etc, before). I also like figuring practical puzzles out – “how to do something” whether fixing a “thing” that’s broken, or saving money (even if I don’t do it myself, I’ll know how) – stuff like that. Computers have been my friend since I was a teenager.
Am I anti-social? No – I like spending time with people – quiet time is fine – or even loud parties to “let it all hang out”. But I couldn’t do it day in, day out, every day. An extrovert could. Easily. I like little interactions with people – or better still – deep discussions. that’s my favorite thing. But few people like to engage in that.
Society: I don’t think victrolas, Jazz records, Comic Books, Television, video games, or computers make kids introverted — but they CAN make them a little socially awkward if in excess. I’m socially awkward – tongue tied in person, not good with expressing myself with body language – my body tends to be annoying. So i end up going towards things like CB Radio in the 80s, BBs’s and chat rooms and Usenet in the 90’s, Internet in the 2000s and I would meet Live People through those mediums, getting to know the minds and thoughts first rather than looks, demeanor, body language, posture, hints, non-verbal communication – things i’ve never been good at.
Perhaps it is BECAUSE of computers being avaialble that i am this way? It *is* possible. But as a teenager, I went to plenty of parties. Hung out with friends. But even there, I usually found a role of “host” or “servant” worked best for me. Supporting role rather than center of attention.
I think you’re right: natural extroverts tend towards sports and group activities. introverts tend towards computers or video games or books. I think too that introverts that are in groups find themselves suddenly in semi-leadership roles: not at “the head” but in an important position – technician, strategist, Thinker role – the “Secret Weapon” but not “the Teammate”.
i think kids should be limited in their INDOOR activities – and limited in their PURELY SOLITARY ventures. Go outside on the bike, play with a few friends. Outdoors should be strongly encouraged. The biggest dangers i see with computers for example is lack of outdoors and losing (or not learning) some of the basic skills in interactng with people face-to-face – practice makes perfect.
Hmm – I’m going to think more about this. I digressed totally in talking about myself – but that’s ’cause you hit upon one of my favorite topics.
I bet you are similar to me in that you are “just over the line” into the Extravert, just as I “just over the line” into Introvert – the differences are quite minor at that point. I cherish the days that I found myself to be quite social – just as you cherish the days that you had the whole day to yourself. I would be burned out being extraverted every day but I love the times that I am. that’s probably (I’m guessing) where the main difference between fence-straddlers in the E/I department is. Love myers-briggs – i was obsessed with it back in my mid 20s, learned all I could. It was the first time that a ‘system’ existed that could REALLY explain large parts of ‘me’ that were in common with others. (I’m INFP by the way — done variations of the tests since ’93 – most recently just a few months ago – and i always end up the same. i can easily switch to another ‘type’ by just changing a few answers – but that’s ’cause I ‘get’ where the test is leading with each question. But answering honestly always ends up the same, which is cool).
it’s funny – INTP is another ‘type’ I can swap to easily, so I’m sure if thev ‘people situation’ is right, I could also be more ENTP. The “P” and the “N” are always consistant though. iNtuitive + Perceiving – I’m always very very high on the scales. T/F and I/E are ones that change easily enough. My mother is ISFP – again – very close in the letters – but I think the difference between Sensing and iNtuitive is greater than the diff btwn I/E and F/T.
Just found this: “an xNxP will embrace openness (vs closure) by seeking more information and ideas” – it’s cool that that’s what we’re all doing right now. I guess we’re more likely to say, “So, what do you think?” and genuinely want to know – genuinely caring what others think, in hopes of getting either a new tidbit of information or idea. In my own words, we'[re ALWAYS ready and willing to “get our minds BLOWN AWAY” by a good idea, and, well, living for those “Eureka!” moments.