So, I know it's been a while. A long while. I actually enjoyed not keeping the blog because it meant I got to do other things. I mean, I'll have to give it up one day, but who knows when that will be. Anyway, the Christmas season is over, but I must admit, it is my favorite time of the year. I love the festivity, the presents, the food which expands my waistline and gives me bowel cramp for five days in a row. But that's not really the point of Christmas. It is a time for renewal in Christian values, which we may have lost during the pagan days of summer. It's also a time to remind us of what and who is truly important in our lives and not to lose sight of that/them.
My favorite Christmas story has always been Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and the older I get, the more I truly appreciate the lessons and wisdom this timeless classic imparts to us. Because of that, I've decided to write about six lessons INTJs can learn from Ebenezer Scrooge. After all, it isn't all that difficult to imagine that some INTJs can very easily become the lonely, old miser.
Lesson 1: Pursue the People You Truly Care For
One of Scrooge's deepest regrets is that he let the only woman he ever loved walk out of his life without a fight. Sure, he had his shillings, his guineas, and his sovereigns, but money can't love you back. Not that I'm saying money isn't important--after all, Scrooge never could've given Tiny Tim the care he needed if he hadn't scrounged for decades--but there are some things in this world that are more important than money. Most times those "things" are actually the connections and relationships we have with people. It's important to maintain these relationships so that we don't one day look at the ghost of our former lives and regret our decision to not take the simple step to keep in touch.
Lesson 2: Don't Neglect Your Feelings
At the beginning of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is described as "unfeeling." He has no pity for those who can't pay their loans and instead values everything by monetary gain. This one goes hand-in-hand with the first one as in order for us to maintain our feelings, we must maintain our relationships, and by keeping our relationships, our feelings will also be kept.
It's all too easy for INTJs to look at everything objectively--positive or negative, loss or gain, good or bad--and as a result, we restrict ourselves to a rational or logical way of looking at everything. It's all thought; no feeling. But truth be told, there are plenty of feelings that can be positive. Why, even regret when lassoed properly can be a positive as memory of it keeps us from falling back into old habits. There is gain in the feeling of happiness. True, it's transitory, but so is money.
Lesson 3: Be More than Cordial to Those You Depend On
One of the most sympathetic characters in the book is Scrooge's clerk Bob Cratchit. While I'm not sure what Cratchit actually does as his clerk, we can assume that he assists Scrooge in his book-keeping. With as successful a firm as Scrooge's has become, Cratchit's job is likely an important one, one that takes education and no small amount of brains. Therefore, you'd think Scrooge would want to pay his clerk a fitting wage so he doesn't look for work elsewhere. True, Cratchit probably doesn't get much of a chance to look for work elsewhere, but Scrooge's business is well-known and the fact that Cratchit has been able to keep his books--and his company--there are likely to be several other firms more than willing to employ Cratchit and even give him a sympathy bonus for his five(+) children with one who is very ill.
My point is that INTJs can be hard on people, including those closest to us or even those we depend on. Again, our practiced objectivity as well as our fear of change can work against us, especially when it comes to getting along with others. Not everyone is as lock-headed as we are. They can't subsist on ideals like perfection, a desire to always be right, and the true(st) sense of all things. They're also not nearly as stubborn as we are. As a result, it's easy for INTJs to think of people as less than people and more like minor characters in our story. Doing so can drive them away from us, or at the very least, cause them to loathe us.
Lesson 4: Don't Allow Time to Pass You By
One of the interesting things about A Christmas Carol is that we're never given an age for Scrooge. Depending on the version of the movie we watch, some of us might assume he's sixty or even older. We don't know as it seems like most of what happens to him is in the Past. From the time Belle breaks off their engagement to the time Marley comes to see Scrooge is the length of time that he became who we see at the start of the book/movie. That space of time could be forty years or more. Even if it was only thirty, that's still plenty of time to let pass without having done anything more than just working.
Time is precious--we know it is because no one has an infinite supply. Some people have much, much less than others, and it isn't usually surprising to find out how lively those people were; the sort of people that lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment of it. For us INTJs, this is something we should keep in mind. It's easy for us to get lost in our work and concentrate so much on our goals that we forget there's a point to living, and it's not entirely found in our checking accounts. Going back to the above points, a good deal of our lives' meanings can be found in our relationships with others as well as our relationship with the world, for after all, why would anyone else exist if there wasn't some point in their existence? Ditto that for life experiences.
Lesson 5: It's Never Too Late to Repent
By dint of our Judging trait, INTJs are creatures of habit--we don't like change. Why should we? Once something is proven to work, why change it (unless the new method is vastly more efficient)? Course though, habit can be an issue. While we don't realize it, the way we think about some things can affect the way we think about and handle other things. We get used to a habit, we might apply that same attitude to other aspects of our lives, and this may lead us to the problem of becoming "set in our ways."
I'm sure some of you are familiar with the saying, "I'm too old to change," but that really is bull. Why should our age be a factor in whether or not we can change? We're INTJs--we can do anything!--even change at a ripe old age. The real problem is being set in our ways. True, we strive for perfection, and when we've found--or think we've found it--we're likely to rest on our laurels because we've achieved it. But I don't think being set in our ways is achieving perfection, after all, the perfect organism should be able to adapt to its environment. That's what we call evolution.
Therefore, we should always keep it keenly fixed within our minds that so long as we're alive, we still have time to go back and repent for some wrongdoing we've committed, or even change a habit that has had less than a stellar impact on our lives. Scrooge was an old man when he changed his ways. True, he had the benefit of ghosts and visions to help him see what he was, what he was missing, and what his bad habits could eventually lead to, but if INTJs endeavored to act in a charitable manner, then what doubt should we harbor we have acted wrongly?
Lesson 6: Don't Burn Bridges (Especially Not Before They're Built)
One of our most amazing abilities is that we can cut people out of our lives without them ever realizing what happened, but is that necessarily a good thing? True, some people are toxic and will weigh us down, but some people we cut out because they no longer meet our standards of respect, and some people we're not even willing to give a chance. I don't mean for us to look at every person as a possible tool as if you never know where you're going to need it, but we should be more open-minded about the possibilities.
Within my own life, I have unfriended a lot of people on Facebook for a variety reasons. Sometimes for nothing more than a brief argument. Is my life poorer or richer because of this? I can't say, but there is a possibility that it's poorer for it, especially given my choice of career--writers need all the friends they can get!
I know we're not good at networking and that we don't care for masses of people, but I'm not saying we should be friends with everyone. No, keep your inner circle of five or less, but also remain open-minded to everyone else. You never know what sort of goodness can come into your life from a genuinely warm companion, not to mention the business opportunities. Even if someone can't do something for you, they may be able to do something for another friend, and there could be rewards to be reaped from that exchange, both material and spiritual.
I'll be honest about something: I'm sort of frustrated with this post because all these lessons aren't really individual lessons. They're all very much related and they all come down to a single lesson: be excellent to each other. Although The Christmas Carol has an agenda not so different from today's expression of "Keep Christ in Christmas," I'd say they both exist for the same reason. The reason being that we should remember others always and care for them as we would ourselves, for whom knows how we may be blessed in doing so. As the herald angels said at the birth of Christ, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased" (Luke 2:14). In earning God's pleasure, we shall be at peace, and in being excellent to each other, we can be. So, as Tiny Tim observed, "God bless us, everyone."
Well, that post was all right. It took me a while to get through it. That's what happens when you're trying to play two video games at once. But I think it turned out all right, despite all the problems. Now, here is where I would usually put in a plug for my mailing list or Patreon, but I'm not going to. I think I'll take a break from that, as well as lay some bad news on your guys. I'm not giving up the blog, but I think I'm going to cut back to updating it once every two weeks. I've got other projects, and some of the time I spend on this blog can be spent on those and they're sort of more important right now. Not to mention, I think I'm getting close to writing my INTJ Mystique book and I think I have enough raw material in this blog from which to help me craft it, so that's another thing that's going on.
For next time though, I'm going to cover the Gothic Aesthetic of INTJs. Until then...
For next time though, I'm going to cover the Gothic Aesthetic of INTJs. Until then...
Keep writing, my friends.
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