Born Standing Up

I was alone with him the bedroom; his mind was alert but his body was failing. He said, almost buoyantly, “I’m ready now.” I sat on the edge of the bed, and another silence fell over us. Then he said, “I wish I could cry. I wish I could cry.”

At first I took this as a comment on his condition, but I am forever thankful that I pushed on. “What do you want to cry about?” I said.

“For all the love I received and couldn’t return.”

I felt a chill of familiarity. There was another lengthy silence as we looked into each other’s eyes. At last he said, “You did everything I wanted to do.”

“I did it for you.” I said. Then we wept for the lost years. I was glad I didn’t say the more complicated truth. “I did it because of you.” [Editor’s emphasis]

You know Steve, actually, you are not exactly correct.  It’s even more complicated.  You did it because of your father — and you.  It’s called Character and Temperament.

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With Thought thru New Regions

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” spoken by Atticus Finch, in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

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Reverence for Life

How do you “truly” climb into another’s skin and walk around?  It is a hard thing to do, well.  For that person may be a different kind of person from you, from a different time, and from a different place.

My avocation since I was a child was as a Viking bystander.  My vocation lately has been as a Viking reader of books and people.

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One can try to “climb into another’s skin” through watching a movie or play, or reading a book.  This is something we can do as humans.   We can visit different lands and different tribes – the modern words for “lands” and “tribes” is countries and cultures.  We can also visit some different “ages” – through movies and living in cultures that are different than your “culture” – although there are limitations and there is a possibility to not really get the “gestalt” of that age and place.  Are you just a tourist or just an anthropologist?

Please Understand Me.  Mostly, we don’t understand “truly” – the Temperament, the Tribe, the Age that is not like us.

But we can try.

Here are some autobiographies or biographies of the various Temperaments, many from a different time and different place.  Climb into the person’s skin, and walk around in it – at least for awhile.

Rationals [Strategic]

Engineers [Reactive Rationals]

Ben Franklin (Inventor) [Expressive Engineer]

Mark Twain (Inventor) [Expressive Engineer]

Paul Allen (Inventor) [Expressive Engineer]

Charles Darwin (Architect) [Attentive Engineer]

Linus Torvalds (Architect) [Attentive Engineer]

Coordinators [Proactive Rationals]

Margaret Thatcher (Fieldmarshal) [Expressive Coordinator]

Ulysses S. Grant (Mastermind) [Attentive Coordinator]

Peter Drucker (Mastermind) [Attentive Coordinator]

Idealists [Diplomatic]

Mentors [Proactive Idealists]

Jane Goodall (Counselor) [Attentive Mentor]

Mohandas Gandhi (Counselor) [Attentive Mentor]

Jane Fonda (Teacher) [Expressive Mentor]

Advocates [Reactive Idealists]

Albert Schweitzer (Healer) [Attentive Advocate]

Karen Armstrong (Healer) [Attentive Advocate]

Joan Baez (Champion) [Expressive Advocate]

Artisans [Tactical]

Operators [Proactive Artisans]

Katherine Hepburn (Crafter) [Attentive Operator]

Lance Armstrong (Crafter) [Attentive Operator]

Donald Trump (Promoter) [Expressive Operator]

Theodore Roosevelt (Promoter) [Expressive Operator]

Entertainers [Reactive Artisans]

Neil Simon (Composer) [Attentive Entertainer]

Jim Cramer (Performer) [Expressive Entertainer]

Bill Clinton (Performer) [Expressive Entertainer]

Guardians [Logistical]

Conservators [Reactive Guardians]

Barbara Walters (Provider) [Expressive Conservator]

Sam Walton (Provider) [Expressive Conservator]

George H. W. Bush (Protector) [Attentive Conservator]

Administrators [Proactive Guardians]

Lilly Ledbetter (Inspector) [Attentive Administrator]

Andrea Mitchell (Inspector) [Attentive Administrator]

Mike Wallace (Supervisor) [Expressive Administrator]

Judith Sheindlin (Supervisor) [Expressive Administrator]

Sonia Sotomayor (Supervisor) [Expressive Administrator]