F is for Feeling / T is for Thinking

Los Primeros Frios. Miguel Blay Fábregas.

For the longest time, I have been absolutely, frustratingly confused about whether I’m more of a Thinking type or a Feeling type. The confusion, as usual, originates in semantics. In Myers-Briggs terminology, feeling does not equal emotions or caring, and thinking should not be confused with intelligence (which, by the way, I define as being analytical and adaptable, not knowledgeable — lots of people can know lots of things, but being able to adapt that knowledge to perform various tasks and solve various problems is true intelligence). Regarding this distinction, the page on Thinking vs. Feeling on the official MBTI site asks, “Do you like to put more weight on objective principles and impersonal facts (Thinking) or do you put more weight on personal concerns and the people involved (Feeling)?”

This seems simple, but the type descriptions for Thinking types and Feeling types tend to subvert that distinction, sketching out “feelers” as touchy-feely and “thinkers” as coldly logical. For example, INFPs are described as not liking

“to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don’t understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.”

I guess that I’m one of the “some” that’s (too) briefly referred to there. For the most part, rather than misusing “hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst,” I keep logic and interpersonal understanding at the forefront in confrontation, or I wait to address a problem until my emotions have stabilized so that I don’t say something I don’t mean or make a problem worse. In any case, I highly respect facts and like to check my sources before making claims, no matter how riled up I am. Does that mean that I address every issue perfectly? Of course not. But I do try to remain rational and objective.

And rather than avoiding impersonal analysis, I embrace it. My favorite discussions involve friendly debates that question what I and others believe. While I have strong beliefs, I’m never so sure of them that I can’t remove myself from my emotions to test my theories against hypothetical or real situations or others’ beliefs. I am, above all, a truth-seeker, although I recognize that truth is often relative (that’s the “perceiving” part of my personality expressing itself).

INTPs are believed to “value knowledge above all else. Their minds are constantly working to generate new theories, or to prove or disprove existing theories. They approach problems and theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, ignoring existing rules and opinions and defining their own approach to the resolution. They seek patterns and logical explanations for anything that interests them. They’re usually extremely bright, and able to be objectively critical in their analysis. They love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. They love to discuss these concepts with others. They may seem ‘dreamy’ and distant to others, because they spend a lot of time inside their minds musing over theories.

…The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings. They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don’t understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions. For this reason, INTPs are usually not in-tune with how people are feeling, and are not naturally well-equiped to meet the emotional needs of others.”

This is more how I see myself, and I think others who know me well see me that way, too. Gaining knowledge is a crucial aspect of my personality; I’m always researching, pondering, and testing. I love patterns—I’ve said before that one of the things I love about myths, folklore, and religions are the systems of meaning. Literature is the same way—it’s all about patterns in text. I love philosophy and psychology because they examine patterns and possibilities, and promote theories about human existence that can be bantered back and forth interminably. I’m much less interested in how I feel about the truth than about the truth itself, so I’m always testing what I believe against new information and seeing if it can be reconciled or if I need to adjust my beliefs.

I do get frustrated with people who place too much emphasis on how they feel about things, or when discussions get too touchy-feely. I am not a Hallmark Channel type. When people get too gushy about things, my cynical, sarcastic side switches into gear. I’m an optimist, perhaps an idealist, but not at the cost of examining things as they truly are, warts and all. I feel healthiest when I let in a little darkness. But too much negativity grates on me, too. I seek balance, and balance comes when emotions are tempered.

I also become extremely irritated when people lose sight of solutions due to their emotions. Instead of giving in a little, some people refuse to compromise, and no one ends up winning. It’s not that I just want everyone to get along (disagreement is healthy and necessary to get to the truth); it’s that too many people don’t know how to disagree without coming into conflict, and they are often too poorly skilled at resolving that conflict. They don’t realize that, by working around an obstacle instead of (often fruitlessly) trying to break it down, they’re more easily able to get what they want.

An example: a couple of nights ago, Eric and I ate dinner with a friend who is very much a Thinking type. We’ll call him Person A. Person A appreciates bluntness and is very blunt in expressing his opinions, and he resents people who hold their emotions so closely that they don’t listen to reason. He values systematic and logical executions of ideas, and his biggest problem with someone we’ll call Person B is that Person B is so egocentric (in the way that young children are, who haven’t distinguished their individual perspectives from the perspectives of those around them and so assume that whatever they’re experiencing, that’s also the experience of everyone around them) that he won’t listen to new ideas or try new processes, even if his old ideas and processes are clearly not working and there’s a logical basis in the new ideas and processes. I get that, and so does Eric. The problem is that Person A’s approach is to be combative with Person B, insisting on his own opinion without accommodating Person B’s feelings.

Eric’s approach to the same problem with Person B is perhaps a typical Feeling-type approach—he knows how Person B is going to react to certain approaches; he knows which approaches work; and he uses those approaches to get his point across and accomplish what he wants to accomplish. It’s an intelligent approach, as it analyzes all of the factors in a problem and seeks a rational solution.

In analyzing that situation, I realized that a Feeling-type response can sometimes be the most logical and reasonable, as far as reading a situation clearly and solving a problem goes. That was a huge revelation for me, and it’s an important distinction for anyone who looks into the MBTI system. I may likely be an INFP (because, in the way in which I deal with the world, how others and I feel about a situation takes precedence over facts), but it doesn’t mean that, as Kiersey describes, I harbor a “deep commitment to the positive and the good [that] is almost boundless and selfless, inspiring them to make extraordinary sacrifices for someone or something they believe in.” By the same token, it doesn’t necessarily follow that INTPs are “ruthless pragmatists about ideas…

I do care deeply about people and things, but I’m much more interested in exploring and discussing ideas than boundless self-sacrifice for a cause at any cost. That’s where my passion lies, and I think that’s my contribution to the world. Even so, when problem-solving, I do include others’ emotions and my own desire for peace into the equation. And while I don’t always understand emotion-driven people, I understand that their emotions affect me and that it’s in my best interest to consider them. And I’m constantly trying to understand people — I analyze them so that I can know and work with them better. But it doesn’t mean that I always cave to others’ feelings for the sake of peace. I pick my battles. If I feel that it’d be better to tackle an issue head-on, I do.

So maybe I’m an INFTP—a Feeling type with a Thinking vehicle. I am keenly aware of others’ feelings, and I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I filter that caring by seeking the most logical, helpful solution to a problem. I resonate with the description on the Kiersey website that states that INFPs

have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion.

But, while I get swept up in poetry and stories as much as any Feeling-type bibliophile, I am not incapable of or resistant to analysis (even self-analysis) or objective, impersonal judgment. The most satisfying poems to me do both—thrust out deep feeling and then follow it with deep analysis. Just feeling something doesn’t justify a poem to me — it has to communicate something larger and deeper.

So, then, maybe I’m an INTFP — a Thinking type with a Feeling vehicle. My interests begin in ideas and objective analysis and then are refined by the process of identifying how people will respond. And, in my work, I use feelings to draw people into what I feel is more important — the theory.

It seems that, after all of this time, I’m still undecided. What are your thoughts on the paradigm? Where do you sit along the axis?

***

This post is part of a series on my thoughts about my MBTI type. For more, read about my thoughts on introversion and intuition.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Subprimal Poetry Art, Issue 2 cover art

As promised, I’m announcing the release of my latest published poem, “Snake River 1986,” in Subprimal Poetry Art’s Origins and Destinations issue. The poem is a semi-mythical, earth-centered take on the theme of belonging/foreignness that runs through some of my work.

Growing up in an Army family has always made the answer to the question, “Where are you from?” sound a lot like a Facebook relationship status: It’s complicated. I often want to respond, “What are you really asking–where was I born? Where did I grow up? What place do I call home?” I was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho; I did most of my growing up in Augusta, Georgia, and would consider that my hometown; but, to be honest, I get just as homesick for Germany (where I lived for a total of five years as a kid) as I do for those other places. I feel deeply connected to each of those places but, at the same time, detached from them. I am from many places and from nowhere. Which I think is why the Japanese concept of ukiyo, “floating world” — the sense of impermanence and detachment from a place — strikes me so strongly. While the Tokugawa-period term refers to pleasure-seeking societies detached from the real, natural world, it’s expanded for me as I struggle to attach to places that have defined me and yet do not, in some ways at least, belong to me.

Don’t misunderstand — I don’t regret the lifestyle of my childhood, even if it has made me feel lonely for a sense of rootedness from time to time. It was a gypsy kind of life, one that gave me an opportunity to meet many kinds of people and see quite a bit more of the world than most of my peers. It has allowed me to be fearless when faced with change and the unknown, to be eager to confront Otherness and being an Other. I feel more alive when I’m in a strange place, and I get restless living in one city or town for too long. It’s made me adventurous and strong.

Still, I sometimes find myself yearning for a place where I belong, where the culture is intimate to me and embraces me, that expresses what Wallace Stevens observes in his poem “Anecdote of Men By the Thousand”: “There are men whose words / Are as natural sounds / Of their places / As the cackle of toucans / In the place of toucans.” I don’t know where my words are natural. Maybe they are in some place. Maybe not.

The theme for the issue, Origins and Destinations, addresses “places we come from or are going to… work that deals with traditions, transitions, trials, tribulations, things that are part of our all too human identity, legends of the past, visions of the future.” There’s a lot of strong work in this issue, and many of the poems (including my own) include audio of the poet reading with complementary light, ambient music. I am proud to have my work displayed there, and I hope you’ll check it out. There’s a comments section at the end of each poem — leave a note! You can also leave your thoughts here.

An Early,Vivid Memory

Photo credit: Andrew Wilkinson via Flickr

Midsummer in a town outside of Nurnberg, the sun golden and warm, so bright I squint through my eyelashes, a slight breeze tickling my skin. My friend beside me, showing me a blackberry bush, reaching in and pulling out a berry and eating it. I reach in, too, eat a berry. It’s cool from the interior shadows, and sweet.

First lesson of its kind: where lie sweet things, pain lies, too. I reach in for another berry and feel a quick, burning sting. I jerk my hand back, pull out the stinger from my already pulsing, swollen fingertip. The bee died, I think at some point, either right then or on the short walk to the small apartment my family lived in — just my mom, younger sister and me then; my dad was at war in Operation Desert Storm, and my brother wasn’t born yet.

Back at home, my mom is frantic.

“Where have you been? I called the police because I couldn’t find you.”

I don’t remember what I said or did, but I remember thinking, “I don’t think I was gone that long.”

I wonder now how long I was gone. It felt like a few minutes but may have been an hour. Time is strange in childhood, stranger in memory.

News and Thoughts on Poetry

The Omniformalist Manifesto

I came across a blog post by poet Annie Finch on her website a little while ago, and it’s stuck with me. It reflects many of my own feelings about the poetry community, its relationship with the rest of the world (or the lack thereof), and my personal poetic inclinations. So, en lieu of rehashing what has already been said well by poets more experienced than I, I figured I’d just send readers to the blog post itself. It’s a quick read and well worth the time: Omniformalism Revisited

Annie Finch is one of my favorite poets, partly because of her bold, unique perspective (as an earth-centered, feminist Wiccan poet who is well-respected by the poetry community at large — how rare is that?) but also because of her deep knowledge of poetic forms and her use of them in her work that avoids sounding cliche or stiff. Most of all, I love her fascination with and respect for mystery. I’m glad that formalism has reemerged in the poetry community, not because I dislike free-form poetry (the grand majority of my poems are, in fact, free form) but because I enjoy seeing the new expressions that old forms can take in a modern context. I like play with structure as much as I like deviation from it, which is what Omniformalism is all about — celebrating all forms of poetry.

Upcoming Publication

In May, a poem of mine will appear in Subprimal Poetry Art, an online journal based in Mexico that “looks toward poetry, flash fiction, music, and art work that takes the reader / viewer / listener out of the ordinary and into a place altered from that which they normally experience. In an enjoyable, thought-provoking way.” The next issue will feature not just the text of my poem but also a recording of me reading it. I’ve never done something like that before, so I’m excited about it and look forward to hearing what readers/listeners think. I’ll provide more details when it’s published.

I’ll end with a quote from the above-mentioned manifesto:

We have a madness for poems that pound in the blood, that are moved into three dimensions by the immanent necessities of their form, that know the stubborn patterns and rhythms the world keeps.

Of Spring and What It Means

It’s spring now — the azaleas and dogwoods in our yard are in bloom; the little songbirds are singing their mating calls; a haze of pollen hangs in the air, swirls in the wind, coats everything in sight with its green-yellow hue; and, on March 22, two days after the vernal equinox, I gave birth to our son, Espen Avery.

Eric and Espen

My husband with our son

I’d wanted to have a natural birth, but after 14 hours in labor (and having been awake for 26 hours because I’d worked the day my labor started) and only dilating to 5 cm, in spite of the intense contractions occurring about 45 seconds apart and coupling, I was too stressed and exhausted to go any longer the way I was. So I had an epidural, which was a beautiful relief — an hour later, I’d dilated to 8 cm and I was finally able to get some rest. Nine hours later (with an hour and a half of pushing time), Espen was born at 4:59 PM.

Change is always a little bittersweet for me, no matter how much I’d looked forward to it, planned for it, even needed it. There’s a feeling of loss — of my old self, my old life — and a cloud of anxiety about the future that I must fight early on in the change process. I felt that way when I started grad school and attended my first residency; I felt it when I started my (now defunct) copy writing job. And, as guilty as it makes me feel, I have felt it now and then as a new mother.

One would think that I would handle change better — even whole-heartedly embrace it — since I grew up in an Army family that relocated every few years throughout my childhood. It’s not so much physical change that bothers me — I love a change of scenery, and the few close attachments I form to people and locations are never enough to keep me stationary. It’s the emotional and mental changes that I find most challenging. I think that’s true for all people — growth is difficult, anxiety-ridden. Transformation is painful. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The opposite, in fact. That’s what gets me through those periods of anxiety — the knowledge that they will pass, and that growth-oriented change (which motherhood inevitably is) is always ultimately rewarding.

Espen and me

It seems that an essential part of the human experience — and life in general — is transformation through pain. Religions the world over bear stories of transformation through death (the most dramatic form of pain) — Jesus had to die to absolve mankind of sin and return to Heaven; Odin had to hang himself from the Tree of Life to gain infinite knowledge; Odysseus traveled to the realm of the dead to learn from Tiresias the wisdom he needed to return home; Ushas, the Hindu goddess of dawn, was imprisoned by demons in the cave called Vala and liberated from it by Indra.

In life, childbirth is the most obvious and stark example of painful transformation, but any transformation involves some kind of pain. I don’t know why this is, but it is. And, as with childbirth, it seems that the most effective way to go through the process of transformation is to accept the pain, even embrace it. That’s how I was able to endure the first 14 hours of labor without reprieve — until it became clear that it was going nowhere fast and I desperately needed some rest.

Which brings me to another, seemingly contradictory (but not really) lesson I learned through labor — that there’s no shame in acknowledging and accepting one’s limitations and seeking aid in mediating pain. It’s a different kind of strength that’s required to swallow pride and admit need, but it is certainly a valuable, sometimes necessary strength. I relied on that wisdom a few days later when the baby blues, a different kind of pain, set in and I needed help getting enough sleep, not feeling guilty whenever I wasn’t with the baby, and overall battling the overwhelming feelings of fear and doubt I felt about my ability to handle the stress of raising a newborn. Fortunately, my husband and mom have been here to help, and I just needed the strength to admit when I needed them to do so. And, again, knowing that that pain was part of the process of becoming a new mother was a huge aid in enduring and getting through it.

These lessons came at a symbolically significant time — the passing from harsh, barren, cold winter to life-bearing spring. Spring is a season of new and regained life, of growth and transformations of all kinds. It’s a season of new light, and light is always preceded (and even defined) by darkness. It’s the darkness that makes the light so brilliant.

The beautiful result

Speaking My Piece on the Idaho Wolf Hunting Issue

Photograph by Joel Sartore, via the National Geographic

I’m intentionally not a very political person, and I don’t often like to get on the soap box (especially on this blog). Most of the time, I don’t feel that it would do any good, or I’ve found that lots of other people have said pretty much the same thing and my response would only be redundant, or the issue is too complex for me to say for sure that how I feel or what I think is absolutely correct. However, sometimes an issue will prick me to my core and continue to sting until I say something about it, especially if that issue has received little attention and I feel that by doing something — even something as small as writing a blog post — will raise a little more awareness to prevent what seems dangerous and imminent from happening. I was confronted with one of those issues recently, and so here I am, on my dust-laden soap box.

The Issue

A bill, proposed by Governor Butch Otter, is up for vote in Idaho that will allow hunters to freely hunt gray wolves, a species that has been reintroduced by conservation groups following decades of near-extinction. Proponents’ reasoning comes from two angles:

1. Wolves kill the livestock that ranchers depend on for their livelihood
2. Wolves kill the elk that hunters like to hunt

For a more detailed account of the issue (including a video showing speakers on both sides), check out this article. And this one.

My Piece

While I understand the frustration that the first group — the ranchers — feels, I also believe that there must be an alternative solution. The second group — the elk hunters — is completely inexcusable to me. The main point that both groups are missing is this: the wolves are killing and eating for survival.

Let me say this: I’m not against hunting on principle, just as I’m not against eating meat. I eat meat (although I eat less of it than a lot of people). I accept that humans are naturally omnivorous and require some meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet without relying on vitamins and supplements. And while I don’t hunt, I also accept that humans are predatory animals and that there is a side to our species that, quite possibly, needs to kill — just like sharks, alligators and, incidentally, wolves. I respect that part of humanity, just as I respect that part of the wolf species.

What I don’t respect is irresponsibility, selfishness and a lack of creativity in problem solving, all of which to me seem rampant in this issue. The hunting angle bothers me the most. First of all, one of the justifications I’ve heard from hunters for hunting is “to control the population” of the animal being hunted — to keep the population healthy and thriving. So hunting wolves to keep them from keeping the elk population in check bears absolutely no logic. Second, hunting by humans is very rarely survival-based, making nearly all hunting “for sport” these days. Even those who eat the meat of the animals they hunt still go to the grocery store to buy meat. They hunt because they enjoy it, not because they need to. Which is very different than the wolf’s purpose for hunting. But, like I said, I’m not against hunting per se; I recognize a difference between “regular” seasonal hunting and the kind of hunting that’s being advocated in Idaho against wolves.

These wolves are killed because people hate them. For the most part (I can’t say “all,” since I don’t know for sure), they are not eaten, which is wasteful. Additionally, where most hunting places a limit on the number of animals that can be killed, the wolf issue is about decimating a population that has historically struggled to exist. Efforts have been made in the recent past to reintroduce a healthy wolf population to its natural ecosystems. Conservation has only recently reached the point where groups are considering delisting them from the endangered species list, and this legislation and recent hunting behavior is threatening to erase all of that hard work. In fact, Governor Otter’s legislation proposes reducing the population to 150 wolves in Idaho. 150 in 83,642 sq. miles of land.

Perhaps the most troubling issue here is that Idaho isn’t the only state taking these kinds of actions; Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana and other states have also opened the doors to “wolf population control.” As the Live Science article I linked in the previous sentence states:

Wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned to the brink of extinction in the 20th century, and they rebounded only after being protected under the Endangered Species Acts of the 1960s and subsequently being re-introduced to Yellowstone.

Maybe I’m being aggressively political here, but no one can tell me that wolves do not have the right to exist. No one can tell me that 150 is a comfortable number for any species’ population. No one can tell me that all of that land isn’t enough room for wolves and humans and elk and livestock. If people are truly concerned about the elk population in Idaho, why don’t they hunt fewer elk? Why don’t they leave more food to the animals that need the meat for survival? Perhaps then the wolves won’t be so hungry that they need to kill livestock. Wolves don’t kill for sport, and they don’t kill out of spite. They are trying to survive, and it’s incumbent upon us as active, responsible members of the world to allow them to do that.

Responsible hunting (which one wolf hunting gathering supposedly supported) is not about vindictive genocide. It’s about respecting the natural world and allowing it to prosper while permitting the darker, violent side of our own nature to express itself. We need to let go of the notion that we are the only important species on the planet and that our lives and well-being are the only ones that matter. We need to respect other life forms, accept competition for survival as a fact of life and deal creatively with our challenges.

On the ranching side, several individuals and groups (including ranchers) have addressed the complex issue of maintaining livestock while preventing wolf-killing, often suggesting non-lethal methods for managing livestock predation. Check out these links for more information:

Living With Wolves: Questions About Wolves
Predators — Friend or Foe?
Livestock and Wolves: A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflicts (PDF by Defenders.org)

N is for iNtuitive

Knowledge surrounded by personifications of science and religion. Tiffany and Co.

Origin: 
1400-50
late Middle English  < Late Latin intuitiōn-  (stem of intuitiō ) contemplation,
equivalent to Latin intuit( us ), past participle of intuērī  to gaze at, contemplate +
-iōn (via Dictionary.com)

In psychology, intuition is “the ability to acquire knowledge without inference and with the use of reason.” Intuition, the opposite of “sensing” in MBTI terms, focuses on possibilities and alternatives over what is obvious and present — the abstract over the concrete — and the whole over the parts, or the parts as they relate to the whole. Jung considered intuition to be an irrational function, as it looks beyond what is evident to what could be, based on previous experience and abstract understanding. Intuitives see the facts as a starting point, not an ending.

In INFPs and INTPs, intuition is an extroverted function, meaning that this type takes in external stimuli and filters them through a psychological sieve composed of memories and generalizations. We all do this to some extent — if we’ve been burned by a stove in the past, we know not to put our bare hands on a red eye now — but it’s particularly pronounced in extroverted intuitives, who filter everything they come across through this sieve of belief and meaning. And things like “belief” and “meaning” are highly valuable to introverts (like me), who gain energy by turning inward and examining and reaffirming their beliefs as they move along in the world.

Loki and the Rhinemaidens. Arthur Rackham

People with extroverted intuition are “adept at seeing the big picture of any given situation [and] sensing patterns” that are not readily visible. We enjoy word games, problem solving, analogies — anything that utilizes patterns and theories. I personally enjoy languages — how they are constructed as well as how they convey meaning.

I also love literature and writing for much the same reason — sentences, paragraphs and stories are systems in which all of the little pieces (from word choice to motifs) compose a greater whole. Intuition is critical to writing. Not only is coming up with living characters, situations, settings and dialogue a completely abstract activity, but the very act of working with words is an exercise in abstract thinking. Words are symbols — they’re useless and flat without meaning (ideas, emotions and mental images) breathed into them. We give them meaning, but that meaning is not concretely related to the words themselves at all. In any kind of writing, we are taking something — an idea, an emotion, an experience — and using what we know about these abstractions and our audience (a friend, a stranger, a group) to craft and transmit meaning. This is true for all types of writing — marketing, blogging, technical writing, creative writing. It’s all based on the writer’s understanding of what words mean, how readers feel about certain words and which words are most meaningful in a given context. Which is to say that if I weren’t intuitive, I’m not sure I could be a writer.

I’m interested in reading people, too — I’m in the habit of noticing the little things people around me say and do, collecting these observations and then putting the pieces together to understand the themes that operate under the surface. And I have a passion for mythology and fairy tales — cultural systems. I love the stories themselves, but I also love how each story reveals something about its culture and how the various myths create a total image of a culture. Most of all, I enjoy putting the pieces together, finding new meanings in them and rediscovering the whole through them.

This doesn’t mean that intuitives are always mystically accurate. Many intuitive people hold biases and incompletely formed preconceptions that lead to incorrect assumptions about others and the way of the world. This is why, for intuitives, it’s important to regularly audit their perceptions, test them for truth rather than rest in the comfort of the familiar belief, in order to prevent their judgments from being clouded and leading them astray — making their lives and that of others more difficult.

My own intuition has often been wrong, and I constantly work to adjust my understanding of the world to push toward the truth, whatever that may be. And truth (distinct from both fact and honesty), perhaps the greatest of the “big pictures,” is incredibly important to me.

For the first post in the series (on introversion), click here.