Wednesday, November 7, 2007


“Hi, my name is Joe and I’m an introvert.” There, I’ve said it out loud. Leaving Hawaii, where introversion (laid back) is a way of life, and returning to California (fast lane), where extroversion abounds, I’m immediately reminded of my own personal proclivity toward timidity (Did I really write that?), except on the freeways where I become a freaked out, cursing (heck, darn, stupid, idiot), horn-blowing, egomaniac like the rest of them! It’s interesting how dispositions can change quickly when secure in the safe, womblike confines of an automobile, isn’t it?

In my denomination, we wear a military style uniform. I’ve noticed a scary womblike similarity when one dons the tunic, and it gets even scarier depending upon the cut of the shoulder braid. Why I’ve actually seen genetically inherent recluses instantly take on a Marine Corps, drill-sergeant type persona with braid and/or title change. It is a metamorphosis that borders on the miraculous. Clerical collars, likewise.

We’re not alone, though. Traffic cops are famous for it. I was a Marine and have experienced, first-hand, the transformation that occurs with the addition of one stripe on a sleeve – three stripes over crossed rifles, look out! And how about those airport screeners with “TSA” stamped on their uniform blouses (now there’s a frightening acronym for you)? Does “Gestapo” come to mind?

It shouldn’t be surprising, though. In our culture, the extrovert is valued and rewarded, whilst introversion is looked upon as a weakness. To make matters worse, introverts are out numbered about three to one. From the moment of awakening, we are pressured to “shape up” and conform to the majority world around us.

But take heart, my fellow introverts, hope is on the way. Why, there’s even a website for introverts,, and a book by same title. Let us unite! – Wake up to the fact that we have the upper hand. The world is in the mess it’s in because of all those pushy, garrulous, loud-mouthed extroverts out there. For example, it has been carefully documented that extroverts speak before thinking, whilst introverts think deeply before speaking and/or acting. Also, other studies show that we are “flexible, independent, self-reflective, studious and smart, with an uncanny ability for creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

And we’re in good company. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Johnny Carson and the Apostle John were “Innies” (Slang for introverts)? Contrast John’s disposition with that of the Apostle, Peter for a Biblical comparison.

Maybe the answer is to design our very own uniform with “Innies” part of the insignia, and the above mentioned persons our patron saints. Not only will the uniform identify and empower us; it will also signify that we are members of an exclusive grouping open only to those who act, talk (or don’t talk) and think like us.

Hmmm. On second thought, maybe these uniforms already exist!

Peter fairly exploded with his good news: ‘It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.’ (Acts 10:34-35 The Message)

Come Join us!

PS – All-inclusive, every disposition welcomed. No uniform required!