The Power of Introverts

Whilst going through some blogs and sites on solitude and different human temperaments, I came across this video of a young lady who expresses herself beautifully.

It is significant how things have changed in the world in such wise as everything is made for extroverts: corporate life, teamwork, management, education and group projects to the extent that a child working alone is seen as abnormal. Popes and statesmen have to be extroverts, as do bishops and parish priests. We moved from a society in which people knew each other to one in which you have to prove yourself to strangers. Therefore you need charisma and an outgoing personality. See my older rant on Totalitarianism via Corporate Management.

As St Paul says about the diversity of talents making up the body of Christ, our world needs both those who are leaders, stars and showmen – and the quiet contemplatives who write and make music, those who find their strength in silence and nature. This little talk is passionate and reminds me of many things in my own family. Very often, talk was unnecessary and we knew when to switch off the TV. We would read books and play board games together or I would go off on my own and live from my “suitcase” (watch the talk to find out the importance and meaning of the “suitcase”).

Mrs Cain is the granddaughter of a scholarly Rabbi who died at the age of 94. He was a man of books, spirituality and depth. The story reminds me of Pope Benedict XVI who would have preferred to retire and return to Germany, either to a monastery or a solitary place with a piano, a library and one or two cats. Those years are far behind us.

I would appreciate comments on this beautiful soul and her thoughts.

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6 Responses to The Power of Introverts

  1. Timothy Graham says:

    “the boy, when he liked a person, would as soon sit silent in his company as speak, and this, he discovered, was also the mind of Sir Thomas Browne and of many others with whom he was to be acquainted” – from EM Forster’s The Celestial Omnibus.

    I find myself captivated by witty and charming extroverts, but they seem utterly unaware of a great many of what I count life’s deepest pleasures. I can’t imagine the misery of endless group activities at school these days. And I have had off the record “feedback” after interviews (at which I perform dismally) that once upon a time quiet and unassuming people were seen as desirable candidates, rather than the slick and loquaciously confident types.

  2. Patrick Sheridan says:

    If a bibliophile like me can’t get a job in a book shop then I think the only option is monasticism. I already live some kind of ascetic/puritanical life anyway.

    • You in a monastery? There is nothing more corporate and “people” than a monastery. You would be surprised. Still, not as stifling as marriage! Perhaps a hermit kind of life if your motivation is right. Also, the kind of book shops that can afford to take on an employee would have to be run as modern businesses. I once worked for Banks Music Shop in York, a wonderful establishment as it used to be in the 1970’s with Miss Banks and in its old building at the end of Stonegate. I had to work with extrovert people.

  3. J.D. says:

    In this spirit and your own reflections father I’m very seriously taking up learning some coding and Web design so I can freelance and do my own thing.

    • I don’t know you or how you tick, but you seem to resonate with my reflections. In which case, study your proposition / offer well and above all do good market research. You might consider subcontracting to agencies and companies like I do with translating. Work at home and your only constraints are quality of service and timely delivery. Like someone said, I don’t mind working 40 or 80 hours a week. What I don’t want is a boss or the “corporate” thing. That’s how I am.

      • J.D. says:

        I used to be a self employed mailman some years ago. I too didn’t mind working a lot,and I loved being on my own. I was also self motivated to get up rain or shine, sickness or health 6 days a week to do it.

        I’m quite excited about the foray into the tech world. if I’m successful I’ll be able to work from practically anywhere. ultimately my goal is to move to SE Asia,maybe southern phillipines or something. my woman is from there and I prefer the pace and the less bureaucratic atmosphere.

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