In-Between Thoughts 8.27.18

Oops, forgot to post this yesterday! I’m sure you were all waiting on pins and needles. Many apologies.

Well, Hurricane Lane was a nothingburger for Honolulu. She parked herself next to poor Big Island and Maui and just dumped rain and blew wind at them throughout the Oahu hurricane warning period then died a swift death Friday. I am so grateful we avoided having any significant impacts on Oahu, and also relieved the period of anxious -waiting-while-being-cooped-up is over. That was the least relaxing long weekend ever. But at least now we have plenty of supplies for the next hurricane threat, which is possible considering that hurricane season runs through November and warming seas result in more hurricanes… Oof. Hawai’i is going to face some pretty severe challenges as a result of climate change.

A friend recently encouraged me to look into the Enneagram personality assessment, saying it has been really helpful for her. Even though she swore I’d be able to tell my type just by reading them, like she knew hers, after glancing through them I still had no idea so I took a free version of the test and came out as a Type 5 – The Investigator. The Investigator is marked by their motivation to learn as much as they can about their environment, seeing knowledge as the best way to be secure. That definitely resonates. I love learning because it’s fun and I believe it’s intrinsically good, yes, but certainly part of my drive for learning is to safeguard myself against perceived or unperceived threats. If I know enough, I’ll know how to handle any situation! I can anticipate any potential threat! So my insides tell me. I wish it were that simple.

Oh, and also I’m terrified of being useless or helpless, which is apparently a 5 thing. I tend towards workaholism, and thinking through that as having a root of fear has been very helpful and revealing. Hopefully I can work on that a bit now.

I still haven’t read much about my type or the Enneagram in general to make it truly useful or to feel like I can talk about it on anything other than a surface level, but I think personality taxonomies are so interesting. Never the be-all-end-all of who we are, but they often provide useful tools for self-understanding and for navigating the world and our relationships.

And now I have a new unattainable #goal of becoming a brilliant psychologist and coming up with a new personality taxonomy. If only I had ten lifetimes to do all I find fascinating…

Um, side note: the gym is a hot, humid mess right now. Having no a/c for four days because of #HurricaneLane makes for a very sticky, sopping lift session. #gross

I don’t know what the H is up with robocallers, but I get at least three a day. My number is on the Do Not Call list and has been for years so this is particularly infuriating. I guess it would be worse if I ever answered my phone but JOKE’S ON THE “IRS”. Phones are for texting, people.

This is so obvious, but right now it’s even more apparent that institutions are no fix for a lack of character and integrity in our populace. There are certainly unjust systems and we need to make our institutions as just as possible, but there will always be ways to subvert and exploit the leniencies in our systems. There is no substitution for having good leaders and good citizens, in part to shape the systems and in part to step in when those systems fail. We need to include more ethics and virtue training in our education systems. All education is value-laden, so we shouldn’t feel bad about explicitly putting certain values and character traits as some of the guiding principles. In some ways, making the values explicit is even better so that parents and kids can know what they are getting into and can make the choice to participate or no. (Assuming freedom to choose one’s school… yep, it still comes back to unjust systems perpetuating inequalities. Blah.)

Of course, virtues are not only developed in the classroom. We also need to fix the unjust situations that preclude or prevent the development of character virtues, that make children and adults alike need to focus on self-preservation rather than self-development. A much bigger task.

Also, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a political system and majority voting populace that rewarded character not power? That rewarded making the world a better place rather than accumulating ungodly amounts of wealth? Some day in some future, unattainable utopia…

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