Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Megan Phelps-Roper come from two different worlds. Rabbi Sacks is the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, a politician and a respected speaker. Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church. The granddaughter of the head of the church, Megan and her sister made the decision to leave their home and their church as adults.
I watched both of their Ted Talks speeches a few minutes ago. Both were illuminating and potentially life changing.
While both Rabbi Sacks and Megan spoke of different things, the conclusion that they came to separately is that we need to not only think of others, but extend our hands in friendship to those who are different. If we stay only in our communities with people who think and believe as we do, not only will we not grow, but our world will not become to better place we say that we want it to be.
The reality is that no person is an island. There are millions of people around us and until we truly work together a human beings, the better place that we say we want to be at will only continue to be a pipe dream.
Imagine, if you were to enter a party. There are two people that catch your eye. One is an extrovert, they talk loudly and become the center of attention. The other person is an introvert, content to have a one on one conversation in the corner.
The world is dominated by extroverts. In the office, in the classroom, in our homes, extroverts seem to be all over the place.
Susan Cain’s 2013 book, Quiet, is about the introverts of the world.
Ms. Cain examines how many introverts have forced themselves, in one degree or another, to become extroverts. They force themselves to become extroverts when it goes against their nature. Examining political leaders, business leaders and respected artists, she discovers that many of them, even if they exude the qualities of a extrovert, are really introverts.
I truly enjoyed this book. I connected with several of the people whom Ms. Cain interviewed with. I completely understand the need, after a long day, to shut out the world and be alone. This book is a must read, especially for parents and educators. In every classroom and every home, there is often a child who is an extrovert and on the other side of the spectrum, there is a child who is an introvert. The chapter on having introverted children is important because the introverted children are often lost in the shuffle compared to the extroverted child. Recognizing the gifts and abilities of the introverted child will help them to succeed in life.
I highly recommend this book and Ms. Cain’s Ted Talk.