Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Ultimate Role Model

Ever wonder if you are introverted (I) or extroverted (E)? Most people know. But if in doubt go to a large party and mingle with lots of people. If you find the experience energizing you are an E. But if you found it exhausting, like me, you are an I.

We I's often become writers. We aren't the show but we're thoroughly observing it. We are good listeners and remember conversations and can accurately capture rhythms and nuances for our stories. Being an I is not the ideal personality style for marketing a book, but that's another story and another blog. Today I want to talk about role models. We I's don't have many because most celebrities and politicans are E's.

There are a few exceptions. Abraham Lincoln was probably an I as was Henry Fonda. The country and western singer Alan Jackson is a gifted lyricist but an interviewer's nightmare. He's both reflective and reserved. And that was about it, until a quiet German academic became Pope. Pope Benedict XVI was advised not to visit the United States. The contrast with his charismatic predecessor would be too profound. The visit would not be a success.

Luckily for us, he ignored the advice. He came and charmed us without a booming voice or a line of easy banter. He had empathy in his eyes and love in his heart and we responded. During his short visit, he taught us all something. The personality style doesn't matter. If you proceed with kindness and love, any endeavor will ultimately be successful.


margaret blake said...

Iwas definitely an I, and some of that lingers, but the older I get the less inhibited I feel.

It's like the poem of the lady who will wear red and purple, I definitely veer to that now!

What a pity it is only with getting old that inhibitions let fly, you could do with them far more when young.

Lovely thoughtful post, Kathy.


Kathleen said...

Thanks, Margaret. You are right shyness and inhibitions can be shed as one gains confidence. But I think a personality style is forever and the magic comes in accepting it.

Debbie Wallace said...

Ditto, Margaret! I'm an I and have been all my life, but as I get older I tend to say what's on my mind.

Sarita Leone said...

I do so agree with you on your thoughts about the Holy Father ignoring advice. I'm so glad he came to the States. I watched all the coverage I could, and enjoyed every moment of it. His humanity shines through with every open smile or thoughtful word.

Lovely post. :)