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The ‘quiet’ cure for the world

If she were with us today Rosa Parks would’ve been 100 years old last month. I was reminded of her after coming across Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School” in The Atlantic magazine.

My thought after seeing the title was: “They will when they’re good and ready.”

The world doesn’t do quiet very well, which partly explains why it extols extroversion and regards introversion as some kind of disease that needs to be cured. Susan Cain rightly observes that introversion is seen as a “second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology”.

I’m sure introverts have heard more than their fair share of: “What’s wrong with you?” or “Wait; you very quiet.”

In another article from The Atlantic, Caring for Your Introvert, Jonathan Rauch reckons that introverts are “among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world”.

Misunderstood? Definitely. Aggrieved? I wouldn’t go that far. In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain shows how the quiet demeanour of Rosa Parks was complemented by the not so quiet demeanour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders.

Rosa Parks was not the first person who refused to move on a bus but she was chosen to be used as a “test case” against the system because of her “impeccable reputation and a quiet demeanour”. Gab is not necessarily a gift and quiet is not a condition to be cured. In fact, quiet may well be the cure for some of our conditions.

— Adrian Sobers

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