My One-of-a-Kind, Never-Before Seen Manifesto
Hmmm, are you and I each simply a dot on a graph?
There is an entire industry built around the science of personality profiling. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator system is the best known of the dozens of systems in use. I’ve never been evaluated by its measures. But I’ve been around in the workforce for thirty plus years so I’ve been through the profiling exercise more times than I care to count.
My experience with these systems is that they are all variations on the same theme. Each one ultimately pigeon-holes you into one of four quadrants. The only question is how far along the spectrum of that quadrant you land.
As an aside, there is one profiling system that I contend makes all the others obsolete. It is called the Enneagram. I recommend you check it out if you are finding the other systems lacking. You may just find it startlingly insightful.
But it is not my intent to encourage you to put yourself under the microscope of any one system. At the end of the day, their usefulness is limited. They simply give you the comfort of knowing you fit into a predefined category and therefore are within the parameters of “normal”.
All these systems fall short, in my humble opinion, in one vital respect. They fail to acknowledge a fundamental truth: You are absolutely unique. Yes, you share specific traits with some people. From time to time you feel you are looking in the mirror when you are with them. But at other times, if you are being honest, you believe you are a polar opposite to them.
I believe, with passionate conviction, that you and I, and every other person on this planet, are each truly one-of-a-kind. No one else possesses the precise combination of characteristics that you do. No one else sees the world quite the way you do. No one else occupies the exact same place, in psychological and emotional time and space, which you do.
This can be a frightening concept because it means that you are standing alone even as you surround yourself with friends and lovers, mentors and heroes. There is comfort in defining yourself by the relationships you form. It makes you part of a bigger whole.
But I contend that deep down inside each of us, in a place that is not easy to find and somewhat disconcerting when you do, there is an unequivocally unique individual. Think of it as your DNA make-up if that helps you conceptualize it. But it is more cosmic than biological and more spiritual than psychological.
You may or may not choose to go looking for this inner, never-before-seen person. Few if any of us, myself included, every fully grasp that heart of hearts that beats deep within us. But it can be quite liberating to take the journey and catch a glimpse of it.
Here is the metaphor I offer you. Think of yourself as a pebble on a beach amidst thousands of other pebbles. The waves wash equally over each pebble. But those waves sculpt each pebble in an intricate way that cannot be duplicated.
There is only one you. There is only one me. So let’s forget about categories and revel in our magnificent individuality.
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.comor the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.
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