Monday, February 20, 2006

My People Have Spoken

These Are The Things That I Are (the Johari window results)

"The value of a diary lies in its often contradictory elements rather than any general picture it may present. It is a series of sketches that are often difficult to reconcile with each other, rather than a coherent account of the person." Paul Tournier, The Meaning of Persons.

The first page in a new journal I bound myself. This is the second time I have tried to bind my own journal. It is an awkward job to do, and I am not sure the amount of satisfaction that I derived from stitching my own journal is worth all the fighting I had to do to keep the thread untangled and get the stitches right!

Whether the words are written in a hand-stitched journal or sent out over the internet, revealing ourselves to another person is still a complicated process. What I reveal here is only a small part of the elephant. What I write in my own hand is yet another. Even combined, they are still not a coherent account of me.

I choose to allow some parts of me to be seen (you know this about me, and I do too). Other parts, I skillfully hide (I know that about me, but you do not). And to make matters more complicated, I may not even be aware that I am trying to hide a part of me, yet others see the thing I am trying to hide as plain as the nose on my face (you know this about me, but I do not). These are three of the "panes" of the Johari window. And yet, there are still other parts that even I am not aware of (you don't know this about me, and neither do I). That is the fourth "pane" of the window.

So, am I complex? Fifty percent of my family I polled said yes. Thirty-seven percent of the bloggers who responded said yes. That makes eighty-seven percent, right? It's true, my mathematical genius is faulty, but yes, I am complex. And so are you. We are all complex, and wonderfully made. Do not forget that when you go out into the world. Stare in wonder at your fellow human beings, at their marvelous complexity. Consider our capacity to reveal ourselves to one another, and mourn our ability to deceive ourselves and others around us.

The traits that are in bold italics were selected by both groups:

I somehow managed to put adaptable on my family list, and relaxed on my blogger list, so my choice of traits was not exactly the same. The things that are "known to myself and others" are the traits that I picked that were also picked by others.

known to myself & others (bloggers):
idealistic (12%)
quiet (12%)
searching (50%)
not known to others:

known to myself & others (family):
calm (10%)
idealistic (10%)
quiet (20%)
searching (20%)
trustworthy (70%)
not known to others:


  1. Very interesting. I love the quote about diaries. Food for thought...

  2. I love the quote too, and as someone who writes her life away, I would agree it is often a tangle of disjointed ?(thought)...not sure that thought quite hits it.

  3. The Johari window was interesting! I also love this quote.


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