The Desire to Understand
(and to be Understood)
I'm coming to believe that it is a desire to understand, both ourselves and others, which is the key to making this world a better place.
It is as simple as this—if we have a desire to understand, we can get curious rather than simply place blame. This attitude can have a transformative effect from our most personal relationship with ourself, to our relationship with our children and other family members, to making better sense of the larger world in which we live.
This page will start with the personal: information I have found useful to better understand myself and my kids. As it evolves, I hope to add in information about social justice issues I care about. I know that "discussing politics" can be fraught, yet I am also feeling that staying silent is not an option. It is my goal here, not to focus on convincing anyone they are "wrong" but rather, to share resources that I have found useful in understanding more about the issues in the hopes it may help inform others.
It may seem, at first glance, that learning about personality types is mostly an exercise in "navel gazing" and one might wonder, with all that is going on, whether there aren't more important things to focus on. What I have found is that the better I can understand myself and what makes me tick, the better I can understand others and what makes them tick. Recognizing that there are various ways of "being in the world" can help us realize that the person who annoys us is most likely not doing it on purpose (just as we don't purposefully set out to annoy others.)
It is this understanding that can help me more easily accept and navigate the world and people around me. Not to mention, the more at peace and comfortable I am with myself, the more grace and understanding I can extend to others. Given that grace and understanding seem to in short supply lately, it certainly seems as if it can't hurt.
Now, obviously, each person brings their own unique attributes into play and no "system" can accurately reflect every aspect of ourselves and others, but as a lens through which to try to better understand others, personality types can be a powerful tool.
I hope you get as much out of these resources as I have.