It’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow. She’s travelling at the moment, so this is my long-distance birthday gift, because I inherited many of the traits below from her. (Although she’s much more extroverted than I.)
A friend sent me the quiz: Which Winnie the Pooh Character Are You ? I wondered which character I would be. The bouncy and positive Tigger? The slightly dim, honey-obsessed but loyal and loving Winnie? I knew for sure I wouldn’t be Eeyore—I am way too optimistic for that. And I don’t worry and fuss enough to be Piglet.
When I completed the (highly scientific) quiz, the answer came up: Christopher Robin.
I hadn’t even considered him. He’s so . . benign. He’s just sort of . . . there. Nothing interesting about him.
But then, I thought about it some more. He’s the calm at the centre of the storm. He’s the touchstone in times of trouble. He’s the voice of wisdom and a place of comfort. He’s the person who accepts all his friends with all their various idiosyncracies without trying to change them.
Maybe benign is much more active and dynamic than I thought?
It reminded me again of the book Quiet by Susan Cain: a book that celebrates the gifts of introverts and their necessary role in society. The simple, rather silly, Winnie the Pooh quiz added another rich layer to Cain’s ideas. Don’t be fooled into thinking that we introverts are benign and just sort of there. We are actively and dynamically calming storms, regaining balance, and speaking wisdom. We benign and just-sort-of-there introverts are a comforting, accepting, vital force in society.
Calm. Touchstone. Wise. Comforting. Accepting. If I can be even some of those things even part of the time, it’s a good thing.