Volume 3, Issue 2, 01/22/09
Introvert Response Ability
It's the day after the Obama Inauguration and I'm hanging out
in the afterglow. I woke up this morning with the phrase "a new
era of responsibility" going through my mind – from the inaugural
address. I think President Obama said, "It's time for a new era
Yesterday I wasn't thinking this but today I am: I wonder how
many of those two million people on the Mall at the inauguration
were introverts. And I wonder how they're doing today.
I joined the inauguration festivities last weekend via TV,
starting with the presidential train ride into Washington, D.C.
It's been years since I've seen this much TV. Once I got into
it, I wasn't completely mesmerized, but almost.
I watched the inauguration ceremony itself on the big screen,
with a crowd at a neighborhood theater. And last night I spent
an hour and a half in another crowd, a happy, noisy inauguration
party organized by friends, in a neighborhood restaurant. Today
it feels almost like I was on the Mall yesterday – I'm wiped out.
The day before the inauguration, on the Oprah Winfrey show, I
saw a clip of a film I believe the actress Demi Moore is
directing. The clip was of celebrities, it seemed, (although I
recognized only some) making pledges, one after another.
One guy pledged to think of himself as American instead of
African-American. Somebody else pledged to remember to turn
off the lights more often. Some of the pledges, like those,
were personal, practical. Others, as I recall, had broader
scope and were more like projects.
I can't remember this film project's name – it's a work in
process – but I gathered it's aimed at encouraging people to
participate in helping the world work better. Maybe an early
sign of the new era of responsibility.
This afternoon, in my inauguration afterglow, I remembered those
pledgers with a smile – they inspired me – and I decided to make
my own pledge.
I may be premature in announcing it. I haven't slept on it or
even thought about it much since I got the idea (a few minutes
ago.) But it's not inconsistent with my general tendency, so
I'm trusting my intuition and going for it :-).
My pledge is to be more of an introvert.
Now, many people in my life would say I have a strong – some
would say exaggerated – sense of responsibility. It's an
introvert tendency and I do have it. Probably not surprising
that I woke up this morning with "a new era of responsibility"
in my head.
I'm so responsible that some people in my life might even prefer
a new era of irresponsibility for me.
But today I'm thinking about responsibility as "ability to
respond." I'm wondering about my pledge this way:
what's my ability to respond to the world even more as an
introvert? I like the question.
It's too soon to have a good answer, of course, but I think it
has to do with slowing down even more, being even quieter and
more thoughtful – and happy to do it.
As my saying goes, "The world needs more introvert energy!"
End of food for thought – on to some practical ideas:
A Practical Idea for Introverts
Join the movement! Pledge to be more of an introvert :-).
A Practical Idea for Extroverts
Pledge to be more of an extrovert – what would that look like?