When with the OMS in Geneva, I would sometimes forgo lunch or coffee breaks with friends to spend some time alone on the building’s 8th floor. The first thing I do when I arrive to the vista is give a nod to this lone house nestled among the trees as if to say, “Yea, I like being alone too”.
Not all the time.
I suppose that being an “introvert” is part of my personality (one word cannot typify my personality). In the beginning of this month, TIME magazine’s cover article was about “The Upside of Being an Introvert (And Why Extroverts Are Overrated)” and was spurred by a book from Susan Cain “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking“.
But I am definitely not shy. I socialize. I love giving public presentations — the bigger the audience, the better. And I thoroughly enjoyed fashion shows a lot more than print modeling — more direct interaction with the public that way.
Some psychologists attribute introversion not to Shyness but, to Sensitivity. Meaning introverts basically need time alone because they are deep thinkers. Curious as to whether you are prone to extraversion or introversion? You can take a Carl Jung personality test.
Susan Cain also wrote an interesting article observing introversion and revolution tactics. Basically Cain theorizes that introverts tend to object injustice in nonviolent manners. She also quotes Gandhi from his autobiography, which I also recommend as a good read.
Worldwide headlines covered the “Arab spring”, and media has dubbed some Spanish protests as the “Valencia spring”. It is a pity that such is another case of nonviolent demonstrations met with police brutality. When participating in such protests as these, the inherent fear of violence is overridden by the passion for the cause. Even when I visited Chicago, Illinois, USA this past November for a vacation, I could not help joining the “Occupy Chicago” march through the Loop. I like to jump at an opportunity to support others who have become unfortunate due to greed. Yet, I was a bit afraid when seeing the police presence and some protesters wearing gas masks. Thankfully, the night ended without confrontation. I must have really looked like an “out-of-towner” when a fellow protester noticed me from the march as I was waiting for the subway. Upon learning with disbelief I would join the event while on my holidays, I jokingly responded, “Well, it was a great way to see some of the city sights”.
Another person demanding change was Ho Chi Minh and I just finished reading a book containing selections of his speeches, essays, poems, letters, and interviews from the period 1920-1966. Here are excerpts of his voice:
- Ignorance is one of the chief mainstays of capitalism.
- Having climbed over steep mountains and high peaks, How should I expect on the plains to meet greater danger? In the mountains, I met the tiger and came out unscathed. On the plains, I encountered men, and was thrown into prison.
- This last one is a poem I would rather share by taking a picture of the book page…..
If you would rather watch a movie about political and social change, I recommend one I just saw called “South of the Border” by Oliver Stone.
My next read is from an author whose lifetime spanned some political events. The book is called “Memoirs” by Chilean author Pablo Neruda. Moreover, he is the writer of my most favorite poem:
I do not love you…..
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
I have never found a poem better than this, nor I think I ever will.