I thought this little video, from the theme to the art, was neat. I especially appreciated Susan Cain’s point regarding a cultural shift towards overvaluing people gifted as dynamic, entertaining, charismatic personalities (celebrity pastors, anyone?) and undervaluing quieter people with humbler vocations.
“As we shifted from an agricultural economy to a corporate one, we started to admire people who could be magnetic and charismatic, because these were the qualities that seemed to matter for job interviews and things like that. And so in the earlier agricultural economy, our self-help books used to have titles like Character: The Grandest Thing in the World, but then the self-help books later on became the ones we know today, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, and those were all about teaching us to be more entertaining, more dynamic.” –Susan Cain
The video’s encouragement seems consistent with the Christian vision of diversity and unity in the Body of Christ which Paul shares with us in 1 Corinthians 12 (quoted below). We are not all the same, but are called to a complementary expression of community life. In our homes this is daily worked out in miniature (people). So, let’s love our little introverts (and extroverts, too) and scheme about how to help them live in the world God made, as he made it, with the gifts he has given them.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-27 ESV)