Thursday, October 3, 2013

Take my Personality Quiz

Okay, I suckered you in.  There is no personality quiz.  I’m writing a post about how much I dislike personality tests and why. 

Lately, I was listening to the radio and they were saying that there is a new personality test that asks only one question.  What is your favourite kind of ice cream?  Then they have huge lists of what you are like based on your favourite flavour.  Another time, I was listening to the radio and it was a different question.  What colour is your car?  Maybe they should have just stuck with ‘when is your birthday?’  Talk about arbitrary.

Not only that but I do not have a favourite flavour of ice cream.  I am so capricious I can’t even choose one.  Also, I did not choose the colour of my car.  And if given free range to choose whatever colour I happened to like, I can’t even think.  I’ll take the shiny one, please.

You know what it is?  Everyone feels like their identity is threatened by everyone around them.  So if you find enough unique identifiers you can suddenly find your own individual pattern?  But you don’t want to be so far out of the group that you alienate yourself.

People do it with names too.  They have to find some way to make their child feel both different and the same at the same time, so they give them an ordinary-ish name spelled strangely. 

It’s also like those charm bracelets in the mall where you buy the band and then you go through zillions of little charms so that you can choose something that is all your own.  Except that everyone you know has one of the bracelets, so you are part of a group, but the individual pieces – those were all your choosing.

You go to a restaurant and all the women at the table have to pick something different from the menu.  Deep breaths …

I think a lot about pearls.  Once upon a time, pearls used to be more precious than they are now.  However, thanks to the cultured pearl industry, every woman in the world can probably afford a pearl necklace.  The price plummeted, but pearls didn’t really change.  Pearls are still made by an irritant being added to a mollusk.  They still get rolled around in the shell until they are shiny and smooth.  They are the same.  It’s only our impression of them that has changed.
People are the same too, but some twisted thinking has led us to believe that if we aren’t distinct from those around us we aren’t as precious.  It’s a lie.  Seven billion humans on the planet does not make one less valuable.  Humans are precious just for being humans.  Why isn’t that enough?

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