THIS is an actual blog post that doesn’t really have anything to do with whip making.
TRIGGER WARNING!! Compared to a tweet, this is a long post. If you wanna read a tweet, of course go sign on to Twitter.
I saw someone else’s blog giving a list of 10 things “authentic” people do that most others “don’t.” So, I thought I’d jot down my OWN take on the subject. Here’s 10 things I think “authentic” people are inclined toward. Not exhaustive, and not the same for everyone. But here ya go, a little wisdom from the whip maker’s shop…
1. They’re careful about drawing attention to themselves, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is concern for the burgeoning but so far fragile egos around them, as well as to avoid the slings and arrows of the envious, or those who otherwise feel that standing out automatically means showing off. If they DO allow themselves to stand out, they have a good reason.
2. They chose their words carefully, bearing in mind that each of their fellows, including themselves, are moving targets on each their own learning curves. They at once state a position and seek to explore that position relative to others to fine tune it or even change it based on new information, so generally will take an interest in dialogue, but will avoid debate, especially if the only goal is to win. They will practice enough sensitivity to gauge how much truth all at once a person can bear, and remark accordingly, figuring more can be said later, as that person grows and learns how to manage their fear. (And they understand that “fear,” properly managed, is a useful tool, because it tells us when something needs our attention.)
3. They’re polite enough to take you at face value, while at the same time considering what your agenda might be for however it is you’re acting at any given time. They may play into that, or they may attempt to shift the focus if it seems desireable to do so. If you’re running around like your hair’s on fire, then they’ll probably avoid you, unless they’re in to people like that.
4. They know they are not proof against everything, and will admit when they’re in over their head, seeking the advice or assistance of others. At the same time, they have enough confidence to be willing to innovate on the fly, but are also likely to plan ahead.
5. They don’t buy into the idea that there is some kind of template that is correct for everyone across the board, and they don’t regard themselves or their fellows as static, rather as living beings who experience both internal and external climates of the mind and heart that are changeable through time. They tend to roll their eyes at lists like this, too.
6. They require validation, and understand that this is true of EVERYONE, but they qualify the opinions of others. Only those whom they trust will they take seriously. Everyone else gets a conversation with the hand until and unless such time as that person or persons show an ability to use good judgment, as opposed to being judgmental. If they decide you have an agenda that is self serving at the expense of others (that is, to no benefit for others up to and including their destruction), then at best you will be given limited qualification, and likely none at all.
7. They don’t buy into the idea that their whole lives are open to criticism. People who do so without an invitation end up on the “Not Qualified” list, and are eschewed. People who ask questions or offer suggestions in good faith, however, are welcome.
8. They ask questions and do research and talk to anyone willing to answer questions before jumping willy nilly into anything, especially if there is high risk involved. They get a good grounding in the basics, and move carefully when ready, knowing that from their new position they can learn more and then move on from there. They don’t skip steps in pursuing their dreams, they don’t use other people’s templates except insofar as they’re actually useful, and are realistic about their current abilities, skills and knowledge, while knowing that they have the capacity to learn more, so they position themselves carefully with an eye toward gaining clear knowledge.
9. They understand the intersection of ethics and aesthetics, and that although comparisons can be invidious and insidious, they also see that making distinctions is vitally important. They don’t compare apples and oranges, and then blame an orange for not being good at being an apple. They understand that meaning, being subjective and mobile, is created, and are willing to understand a person or a situation or a thing on its own terms, as well as in comparison to what they already know. They understand the importance of creating in tandem with another person that thing we casually refer to as “common ground,” such that a lexicon that has meaning for BOTH parties emerges that is based on the ACTUAL participation of both parties, and includes each individual’s spin. They don’t seek to be a “love and light” type, because they know that’s just as fraught with pitfalls as being a “nasty brutish and short” type. In other words, they pay real attention to the actual person they’re dealing with, and see themselves as an important part of that engagement. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and not everyone or everything will be beautiful in the same way as anything else.
10. They engage in a practical compassion that keeps the door open for those whose spirits may be oppressed, while keeping such individuals at a relative safe distance until they have learned enough to use better judgment, and may even engage in subtle actions to help this process along. They understand that it is critically important to bother with people who are angry and fearful, because such people are first, unhappy and need help, and second, can in their torment foment atrocity large or small.
As an “authentic” person, I am honest enough to admit that I absolutely care whether you like me or not—we ALL care about that. We all use that information to make choices about ourselves and each other. I don’t believe I’m independent of my fellows, nor self-contained. Just I pick my battles carefully, and the objective is not to win, but to understand.
My suggestion to folks reading this list, or any list, is instead of figuring out whether you measure up to it, instead do what I did, and write your OWN list about YOU. Because I betcha each person’s list will be a little bit (or a lot) different, as well as sharing elements with other’s lists.