Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I'm Becoming a Shaman for the Tribe

I've always been a peculiar guy.  I've never really fit in.  I irritate people because I'm not just outside of the box, I'm seemingly in another dimension.  Sometimes this is not a formula for interpersonal, social and cultural success.

I'm not doing it to be irritating.  I promise.

So, let me lay it all bare:

Not the best role-model.

- I have an IQ of 187 (just like Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory).  Unlike him, I also have interpersonal perceptions that are not only above normal, they are off any scale I can imagine measuring.  I've never measured at less than 99th percentile, even once in my life. I am not bragging.  This is something I don't like to talk about, for fear that it will drive people away.

- I've got really big "antennas," meaning that I can clearly observe what doesn't show up at all for most people. I see patterns everywhere, where others see noise, or nothing at all.  It has been this way my whole life. I love crowds, because I can see the trends in everybody's shared behavior. I can spend two hours observing an event, and then spend six hours (over several days) explaining what I've learned from that event, so that the organizer can gain some outside perspective.

- You know the guy who can play twenty games of chess against other people simultaneously, and always win?  I've been that guy my whole life. That's why you never see me play any form of games or team sports.  It kills the fun for everybody else, so I sip my beverage, hug my friends and applaud the players. That same insanely high level of competitiveness is what irritates people the most about me - I find it really hard to turn OFF.

As a result of these major parts of my nature, I've spent a good amount of time every day of my life, trying NOT to be this way, so that I can have friends who love me.

After decades of being Mister Big Brain, my brain is now working against me.  I'm losing what I had, day by day, and I'm struggling. My careful behavior-modifications in order to "fit in" are collapsing. It's not fun on the inside, I promise.

So, that's why I'm becoming a Shaman… of sorts.

I'm not following the strict definition of the term, so here is what I will be doing in the years to come:

I can still spot talent. One of my gifts is to strike up a conversation with a stranger, and within a few sentences, I can ZERO IN on their nature, personality and special gifts.  I do this automatically. No matter what else somebody may think of me, everybody around knows that I'm an excellent judge of special, talented people.  If I introduce somebody to the Tribe as a valuable person, everybody's head WHIPS around, because I'm never wrong.

I can still nurture talent. As anyone who spends time around me knows, I'm ridiculously generous with my time, and without expectation of any favors in return. As my mind deteriorates, I'm less able to know when to SHUT UP, but I'm still able to help a lot of people to rise and succeed in our Tribe.

- I'm still a Kinky Matchmaker.  I make sure that couples and friends are introduced to each other on a constant basis.

I can still train Tops.  I have made this my life's work, and I don't see this ending any time soon. If we are going to have happy, secure bottoms in our Tribe, then we need to get the Tops "signed off" on various techniques, as well as on interpersonal skills, winning techniques, coping-mechanisms, and confidence-level.  I continue to be enormously successful with this project.  I wish that more of our older, wiser men would do the same for our newest Tops.

I can still remember a large part of our local history. I have been part of San Diego's Leathermen's Tribe since 1977. I've been here the whole time. My memory is the part that will probably go away the quickest, but I still remain ready to answer questions, and provide historical perspective.

What I know, I gladly share, and will continue to do so, until I can't any more, or until everybody turns away. I've been actively working on gaining wisdom from my efforts as a community leader since 1981, and as a man who has been actively seeking useful wisdom my entire life:
Wisdom (from Wikipedia): Wisdom has, in the Western tradition, been listed as one of four cardinal virtues. As a virtue it is a habit or disposition to perform the right action under given circumstances. This implies a possession or seeking of knowledge of the given circumstances. This involves an understanding of people, things, events and situations, and the willingness and the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with an understanding of what is the right course of actions. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions (the "passions") so that universal principles, values, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions. In short, wisdom is a disposition to find the truth coupled with an optimum judgement as to right actions. Synonyms include: prudence, sagacity, discernment, or insight.

- I can still coach new leaders as they show up. I've been thoroughly successful with helping our newest and most talented young folks understand the changes that they will need to cope with as they rise in prominence, influence, visibility and effectiveness.  These are not built-in skills.  If anybody EVER needs a mentor, it's when they change their status in a big way in the larger Tribe.

I am dedicated to ecstatic Tribal experiences.  The Flog Swarm, the Movie Nights, the Hands-On Demos, the Men's Discussions, and the newer, upcoming "Occasions for Tribal Joy" are all part of a larger plan to establish interpersonal trust, release us from our pasts, and build a Tribe that can last for decades to come.

I can't innovate so much any more. However, I can rest easy, knowing that I've left behind a life of accomplishment and effective change.  I will be easing rather quickly into my next phase, so watch for further developments.  I'm working on something I'm calling the Tribal Vibe Project.  Today's article is a preview of my intentions.

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