For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Quiet

Laurel at The Forest Garden has just posted a terrific review of the book I mentioned yesterday, Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking. You can find it here. This is Laurel's concluding paragraph:

Overall, though, it was great to read a book that was carefully researched and shone a new light on the varied strengths of introverts — she even managed to explain how the habit of blushing can be a positive thing because people actually respond well to it — they deeply TRUST people who blush! After reading this book, the introvert who has always felt substandard or abnormal for not being the outgoing party animal so adored in our culture, will understand not only why there is nothing substandard or abnormal about their inborn quiet, observant, sensitive traits, and love of harmony, but will be enthusiastic about embracing, as Ms. Cain puts it, one’s 'quiet power' and, as the reader will discover, that is no insignificant thing.

8 comments:

George said...

Having read your post, as well as Laurel's, I'm really interested in getting a copy of this book. It's noteworthy that introversion, rather than extroversion, is the Asian cultural ideal. That, of course, fits in with other aspects of eastern cultural traditions—silence, emptiness, mindfulness, meditation. Laurel also makes a good point about the role that introversion plays in both the creative life and our relationships with nature.

Thanks for calling this book to our attention.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting Robert. I suspect that most of us fall midway on the spectrum. I love company but I also love my own company and am happy to spend all day with no-one but my dog. I think George's list is also interesting. We definitely need some quiet time in order to collect our thoughts.

Rubye Jack said...

This sounds so interesting. I think I will see if my library can find it for me. I don't know that blushing really has anything good going for it except being embarrassing to the blusher. Take it from one who knows these things.

Susan Scheid said...

Well, this is how out of step I am. I've never really jumped on the bandwagon of highly prizing the extrovert, I guess. I certainly don't share in the adoration of party animals. I feel almost, in reading a bit more about this book, that it's in a bit of a defensive crouch on the subject. I recognize that I'm likely being unfair here, and offer it only as a sort of initial visceral reaction.

Laurel said...

Thanks for mentioning my little review, very kind of you.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I'm definitely going to read that book too.

Goat said...

THAT BOOK LOOKS FANTASTIC!

(Seriously, re: George's comment, yes, North Asian culture at least seems to look kindly upon shyness and suspiciously upon those with opinions who don't mind sharing them...the whole group dynamic V individual dichotomy. While it has its positive side, it also leads to a herd mentality and many social evils. There is almost no cohesive, meaningful environmental movement there, for example, and people can be SO timid, withdrawn and unable to interact with others. And try teaching a class of Asian youngsters who won't speak... ARRGGGGHHH. "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down" - old Japanese saying.)

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, good to highlight the drawbacks, Goat. Thanks for this. I understand what you're saying. It's a cultural thing.

Such an extreme timidity, and inability to speak out or even speak at all, does sound a little worrying — a different order of things from shyness or introversion, which are fine.

Ultimately I believe in the power of the awkward individual and the rebelliousness of small groups of committed, like-minded people to cause a stir and change history. So many examples of this: look at Greenpeace, the Samaritans etc. to name but two examples.