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Two-faced ... or multi-faceted?

Two-faced ... or multi-faceted?
Behind that mask...

I think. Therefore, I AM

I am, I said; To no one there
And no one heard at all; Not even the chair
I am, I cried; I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still
It's said that when a tree falls deep in the forest it makes no sound unless someone (ostensibly, a human being) is near enough to notice. But I'm pretty sure the TREE is aware of its demise and that other living things upon which it lands no doubt take notice.

Those who may happen to come within earshot of this blog are free to observe and welcome to participate (with comity, please!); it's about my life and times and I'll try to write like nobody is listening -- and like everyone is...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Like the Others

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt
 I'm competitive. I'm comfortable operating in what TR referred to as the arena.
 I have to admit that I enjoy a contest where rivals struggle separately, seeking superiority or victory over one another. And I really like winning.
  Of course I'm aware that there is a whole other school of thought -- where "warm and fuzzy" folks matriculate and where process is considered far more important than product. This approach has grown in popularity during my lifetime and has turned "cranky," "cantankerous" and "contentious" into adjectives describing character flaws.
 Today, folks believe human enterprise is more about relationships than results; they prefer "win-win" outcomes and put a premium on sensitivity, tolerance, inclusion and collaboration.
In some extreme circumstances -- war, for example -- where sensitivity and collaboration between competing parties doesn't work (until it comes time for ending war).
 In other circumstances -- marriage, for example -- winning a skirmish by all means necessary can almost guarantee losing the more important battle and in some cases, the war.
  Most folks fall somewhere in between being cooperative and adversarial. Much of the time, the best path toward success probably includes both conflict and some collaberation.
 It would be a rotten world if most people were constantly seeking an advantage over others with a sociopathic lack of regard for those others' needs and interests; and progress might be very slow if always getting along well were the prime objective of all enterprises.
 In my life, finding a comfort zone between CONtest and conTEST has often proved to be problematic. My temperament -- which I believe is similar to that of a "Mastermind" as described at -- makes me hard to understand, and hard to be around. Only about one in 100 people fall into my personality type category; and I believe I'm a fairly extreme example -- an outlier member of an outlier group.
 The description provided, in part:
Masterminds tend to be much more definite and self-confident
than other Rationals, having usually developed a very strong will.
Decisions come easily to them; in fact, they can hardly rest until
they have things settled and decided. But before they decide
anything, they must do the research. Masterminds are highly theoretical,
but they insist on looking at all available data before they embrace
an idea, and they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality.

  When I first discovered that all of us aren't motivated by the same things and don't see the world in the same way, I was relieved. I no longer felt compelled to adopt "standard behavior" for my own life. I also learned that it's "OK" to be like me -- and, just as importantly -- it's also OK to be like just about everyone else.
  Part of my nature is to accept diversity and to embrace change. Not all people (no, I'll be honest and say VERY FEW people) are as comfortable with unfamiliar ideas and new ways of life. I'm uncomfortable standing still -- which means I'm uncomfortable being in a group that's not on the move.

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