The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He lead me beside the still waters
Text by Ana Cris, Search by Fabi and Ana Cris and Illustration by Sebastian
Morelea Farm, New Zealand (Photo: Ana Cris)
John1 was a boy who paid attention to everything. Sometimes he looks the things that everyone sees. The daisies in the window, the leaves swaying in the wind, the sheep grazing. But sometimes, even in daylight, even awake, even with his eyes open, he was so distracted that he neither answered when one talking with him. At these times, John’s grandfather used to say. — He is looking inside. And he really was2. Then he saw things that most people could not see, because John knew how to communicate with his inner world and the treasures that there were3.
So when he sat in the grandfather’s rocking chair and looked inside, he was soon facing a restless sea in a ship of pirates2. Or when he take care the sheep and looked inside, was a forest full of talking animals. Anywhere, John could go out and look inside. And it started turning habit. It was thus that he met a sheep named Oak-hearted, and they became great friends.
John Standring by Sebastian
At the time John was thinking that in the inner world everything was so much more fun than in the outside, so he had a plan2.
— You know, Oak, I am willing to turn me a sheep and stay here forever.
— Forever? — Oak asked.
— Forever, John replied. Here is where I do everything I want.
Oak took a deep breath and said.
— I think forever is too long!
But John did not listen and continued with his plan. Resigned, Oak said:
— Right, to be a sheep you must keep strong bonds with your childhood, with the child-like qualities, such as gentleness, innocence and vulnerability4. Being a sheep means that you will learn to get in touch with a part of yourself more vulnerable. However, in a positive way, i.e., open, available to feeling in a gentle, innocent manner. You have to learn to compassionate acceptance of one’s limitations or pain. And you will have to be more tolerant with yourself to look at emotional suffering you may experience in your life with compassion and acceptance, caring for yourself and others instead blaming yourself or others for how bad you feel4.
Sheeps, New Zeland (Photo: Ana Cris)
And so time went by and John grew up and became a man gentle and helpful. And so much he looked inner world, he began to notice the subtleties that others do not perceive. Introverted, his way of working was slow and deliberately. He liked to focus on one task at a time with great power of concentration. His thought had an unusual complexity. And he tended to have an awareness of the world around him surprisingly strong, realizing the inner world of other like oneself, which gave him a strong sense of empathy. He listened more than he talked, and he often felt he expressed himself better writing. He did not like conflict or of small talk, but enjoyed deep discussions with his grandfather3.
But outside of John there are Carol Bolton1. Carol was the most beautiful girl that John had ever seen. In true was the only girl he had seen, because in the inner world there were not many girls. She was extroverts and impulsive, and loved the vibe of the outside world, the running after fame and fortune. But John was immune to it. He preferred to devote his energies to his closest friends and family. Already, Carol had passion and was always mixed up in confusion, trying to subvert the order of things. While John was a keen observer who looked at before taking a leap.
—It’s … spend the rest of life looking inside cannot be good. He said to Oak. I’m not like Carol, I’m not heroic and sociable – John said.
Oak nodded. And he said:
—In times of war or fear, it may seem that what we need are more aggressive and heroic types. But if the entire population were warriors, there would be no one to notice – let alone fight – more silence threats.
John Standring by Sebastian
—I feel that if I want to win Carol I have to learn to be more sociable and communicative and stop being so shy. Also, everyone should be outgoing if they want to be successful, said John.
—Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful, introversion is not3. Do not be so hard on yourself, John. There are many qualities in you. The extrovert temperament is attractive, but the advantage of creative introverts is that the solitude can be a catalyst for innovation. Introspective people can come succeed as artists, writers, scientists and thinkers, because their aversion to novelty causes to spend more time on the intellectually fertile environment of their minds3, said Oak
—You know, Oak — said John. I looked into Carol. And when she was just a girl, she expected the world, but it flew away her reach. So, when she ran away in her sleep, she dreams of paradise5. Now I walk with a desire to stay there forever, because there is all I want.
— Excellent! — Oak said. All that Carol needs is someone that brings back innocence, softness and vulnerability of childhood. And there went out the door John put his new plan into practice!
Reference and Notes
1. Sparkhouse is a BBC drama, originally shown in 2002, written by Sally Wainwright which is a modern take on Wuthering Heights. Serie TV BBC UK
2. Machado, A. M. 2008. O menino que espiava pra dentro. Editora Global
3. Cain, S. 2012. O poder dos quietos. Original title Quiet: The Power of Introverts . Editora Agir.
4. Paradise – Coldplay
5. Richard as John Standring. Images from http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/