Sunday, March 20, 2011

In praise of boxes

There’s nothing I like more than a good ol’ psycho-analysis.  Making sense of the world by packing people into neat little boxes makes me feel safe, happy, and warm.  I compare it the act of wrapping oneself in a big swath of cotton wool.  Possibly it dumbs your senses and/or inhibits you socially, but, safe and warm in here...

The habit of making sweeping generalisations about extremely complex subject matter (namely, human beings) can sometimes put people's noses out of joint.  And at the other extreme, making complex hypotheses about inappropriate subject matter, like inanimate objects, and fictional characters in movies, can also get a bit out of hand.   Recently I saw a cute little duck having a grand old time swimming up and down some rapids.  My first thought was, “oh, look at that cute little thrill-seeking duck, clearly of a sanguine temperament, a type 7 on the enneagram, and an ESFP on the myers-briggs”.  And then I moved on to looking at a tree or something, and over-analysing that.

Don’t those wise men say it, that so often, it is our greatest strength that becomes our greatest weakness.  That pesky little double-edged sword.  And if scientists are right in saying we only use 10% of our brain's capacity, and I’m using 90% of that meagre amount to perform unnecessary analyses on web-footed creatures, then that basically means I’m operating at 1% capacity for the rest of life.  Oh dear.  

But it isn’t my fault, because as a number 9 on the enneagram I’m primed to be constantly seeking peace and harmony in the world, and as an introverted intuitor with extraverted feeling as my secondary function, over-analysing the world is just my natural tendency.  And I’m in good company, because famous INFJs include Gandhi and Jesus.  

So there.  If you want to criticise those who put the world in little boxes, perhaps you should first remove that large plank of wood from your own eye.  Oh but wait, you weren’t criticising me, were you?  I was doing that to myself.  

Pesky little double-edged sword.

1 comment:

Clare Choi said...

hahaha you typed a duck swimming in a pond!? hilarous!