I read an article recently on the wonderful Introvert, Dear (get on it, fellow wallflowers) that began with the following: As an INFJ empath, you probably never feel more alone than when you’re in a room full of disingenuous people. You are never more at peace than when you’re connected with another highly empathic being. You seek comfort in the world of complex and abstract ideas. Your energy is often drained by those who lack empathy and compassion. It is revived by those in your tribe who truly ‘get’ you.
It really summed up the whole exercise of interaction perfectly for me. As a deeply introverted empath, I look to make strong connections with people, and I value meaningful conversations. If you try to engage me in small talk, please don’t be offended if my eyes start to glaze over and I begin to stare blankly into the distance; it’s not you, it’s me.
But, I digress.
Every once in a while, a fellow tribe member will cross my path, and we will instantly connect through brief yet whimsical interactions, and various forms of non-verbal communication, until one day we sit down and converse, and our inner flames ignite. Django Runyan is one such person with whom my energy is instantly revived. I find it incredible the depths to which we can venture in a conversation, despite our differences in background and upbringing; while I grew up in a small rural village in the midlands of Ireland, his childhood was spent on a beach in Hawaii, in a small hut with no electricity, together with his brother, and his “beatnik, hippie” parents.
Django is a Philosophy scholar, and an incredibly interesting character. We try to get together every so often for a coffee on our days off, to blow-off some steam, pick each other’s brains, and just contemplate life in general. I am always left feeling revitalised after that Tuesday afternoon caffeine fix with Django; I always make sure to thank him afterwards, but in case you’re reading this Padre, muchas gracias.
Django has been spreading the good word to our students also; he teaches two Philosophy classes each week where he and the students embark upon the most profound of inward expeditions; I’ve taken the liberty to observe some of his classes, and it’s incredible to witness the students ask such powerful and penetrating questions, pondering over life itself in their second language.
In the first class I observed, I witnessed a young university student discuss the idea of happiness with an older businessman; it literally gave me chills to hear this normally reserved young girl maintain that we should focus on our passions, and that which gives us the most pleasure in life, in order to be truly happy. Needless to say, the brash, materialistic executive was put in his place.
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to sit in again, as Django and his class explored Ancient Greek Philosophy; I came across one quote in particular, that really struck a chord. Rather than dissecting and going into detail as to what it means for me (the caffeine is wearing off at this late hour of contemplation), I will just say that I think the desire for attainment can be downright dangerous, and often when we take for granted all that we have, we run the risk of losing it forever.
Anyway, I’ll leave it with you to ponder over, and perhaps you can go deeper over coffee with a fellow tribe member.
Keep inspiring, Django.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.