I’m going through the exercises for the “Once Upon a Time” conference that I teach with two of my very best friends in the whole wide world. I’m working through the Core Values exercises, where questions like what excites you?, and what gives you energy? are asked. And I’d like to say that people excite me, and that being with people energizes me. But I realize, with a bit of a shock, that this is not true. And I immediately feel like a bad person. And especially, a bad Christian.

I love people. I am, actually, passionate about people. About relationships and communication and all the things that are a part of being in a community. But I’ve come to the realization that as much as I am passionate in these ways, these passions are not part of my inherent nature. These passions, actually, exhaust me.

I am an introvert.

I’m an introvert with skills, mind you. But an introvert, none the less.

My family and I attended the graduation ceremony for my nephew and niece on the weekend. These beautiful young people gathered with their classmates, in caps and gowns, to mark the culmination of twelve years of education. It was a joy to be in the audience and to hear the speeches and to watch the students clap for their classmates as the awards were handed out. I was struck, though, as the afternoon went on, by the common personality characteristics of the winners of most of the awards. These students, the winners, were not introverts.

The winners of most of the awards were the natural leaders, the easy to talk to, the funny, the athletic, and the outgoing. And something in me ached a little for the rest. For the message that loud is better than quiet. That external is better than internal. That the shy person is less valuable than the outgoing person.

I don’t know. Am I wrong? These are the thoughts flitting around in my brain today.

Congratulations, Kyron and Kirstin!