We Can March to Different Drummers Together

Please Understand Me

We Can March to Different Drummers Together

I found this article in a book by David Keirsey about the four temperaments based on the Myers-Briggs Temperament studies. See the book name at the end.

I want to say that I believe that God has worked in us to make us who we are through the Spiritual Gifts that He placed in us while forming us in our mothers womb, and begins perfecting that in us when we accept Christ as Savior and Lord by His indwelling Holy Spirit who is the third Person of the tri-unity of our God. Our temperament is also a work of His that psychology has found out-working in  and through us in 4 different basic ways. Understanding our basic temperament is good and will help us relate to others in their differences and will help us to value – rather than devalue them – because of their differences…

I hope you enjoy this excerpt as much as I have…


Please Understand Me

We Can March to Different Drummers Together

 “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Henry David Thoreau

 “If you do not want what I want, please try not to tell me my want is wrong.

Or if my beliefs are different than yours, at least pause before you set out to correct them.

Or if my emotion seems less or more intense than yours, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel other than I do.

Or if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, please let me be.

I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up trying to change me into a copy of you.

If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself to the possibility that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear as right – for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me.

Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And one day, perhaps, in trying to understand me, you might come to prize my differences, and, far from seeking to change me, might preserve and even cherish those differences.

I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, your colleague. But whatever our relation, this I know: You and I are fundamentally different and both of us have to march to our own drummer.”

David Keirsey

“…The point is… that people are different from each other, and that no amount of getting after them is going to change them. Nor is there any reason to change them, because the differences are probably good.

            We differ from each other in fundamental ways. We differ in our thoughts, in our wants and beliefs, and in what we say and do. Differences are all around us and are not difficult to see, if we look. Unfortunately, these variations in action and attitude trigger in us an all too human response. Seeing others as different from ourselves, we often conclude that these differences are bad in some way, and that people are acting strangely because something is the matter with them.

Thus, we instinctively account for differences in others not as expressions of natural diversity, but in terms of flaw and affliction: others are different because they are sick, or stupid, or bad, or crazy.

And our job, at least with those we care about, is to correct these flaws, much as the mythical sculptor Pygmalion labored to shape his perfect woman in stone. Like Pygmalion, we labor to remake our companions in our own image. After all, are we not ourselves, even with our flaws, the best models for how humans should think, feel, speak, and act? Remember the line in My Fair Lady (based on Shaw’s play Pygmalion), when Henry Higgins wonders why Eliza Doolittle can’t simply “be like me”?

But our Pygmalion Project cannot succeed. The task of sculpting others in our own likeness fails before it begins. Ask people to change their character, and you ask the impossible. Just as an acorn cannot grow into a pine tree, or a fox change into an owl, so we cannot trade our character for someone else’s. Of course we can be pressured by others, but such pressure only binds and twists us. Remove a lion’s fangs and behold a still fierce predator, not a docile pussycat. Insist that your child or your spouse be like you, and at best you’ll see his or her struggles to comply – but beware of building resentment. Our attempts to reshape others may produce change, but the change is distortion rather than transformation.”

Please Understand Me II; By: David Keirsey

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