Everyone has traits. By that I don’t mean height or eye color. The traits I have in mind might better be termed predispositions or callings. For example, I don’t tell you when as a small person I knew I loved the wind. We had a dog, but during the family Chicago years (before cars had air conditioning) it was my head and not that of our sensible (if you can imagine such a thing) Wire Haired Fox Terrier that was out the window getting it in the face. I loved not only the cooling breeze but the rush of scent filled air roaring by was a great thrill. In the same “windy” mode I found our largest home fan (again in pre air conditioning days) had a better effect if I stood before it with nothing on. It didn’t take mother long to discover that innovation and put a stop to it. No amount of testimony helped my cause. I was stuck with another of those iron clad DO NOT commands as the one ruling out leaving my room in three giant hops instead of ten proper steps. Three hops were much more satisfying, but I lost that one same as the argument to eat peas and carrots for the same of my sight when I’d rather have gone blind than eat those horrible things. These days I’m “over” that but confess I am not a particular fan of the pea. I see peas as unreliable and think it peculiar that some honor a long dead leader by saying “peas be on him.” In any case he can have mine.

If one of your traits has you favor wind over sun something in your nature and of the human condition is possibly revealed. The species would go nowhere if we all liked the same things and had to respond like lemmings who are fine as far as they go but stink at building high speed rail or investing in broadband. A trait I find interesting but usually neglected to the point of never being mentioned in account is personal favoring of a direction. Don’t you know people who go through life leaning west as if they can’t wait for the final sunset? You can on your own post the direction an optimist is likely to take. Tomorrow is about the sunrise, isn’t it? Favoring either of those directions says something of a person’s nature. It’s not bad to have a direction. The sunset sees consequences the sunrise might be too blinded to notice. Not sharing the same directional focus is a good thing for humanity. Any approach that says we ALL have to get along and be on the same page insists on the impossible. Slavery to a notion is bad as slavery to a master. Notion or dogma slavery tries to bind the individual to one model, usually that of the narrow-mind that decided everyone has to do this that or the other to experience peace in this life and be saved in some other. (All the more reason to take a second look at seeking hell as an alternative to the permanent narcotic of paradise.)

My direction (you didn’t ask but I’m going to tell you) is north. My instincts say Churchill over California every time, and I am far more likely to visit Murmansk than Miami. People have tried to argue me through this by saying Miami and California have so much to offer. I’ve never said otherwise. What I do say is that those aren’t the offerings that interest me. I’m sure the Mediterranean is lovely and balmy, but I’d still rather tuck into a jacket and see Lubeck, Gdansk, or Tallinn on the Baltic. My not being there leaves more room in the sweaty places for those who want to be there. Sometimes I wish they’d go already and possibly stay.

With directional predilections fairly easy to spot there are tonal ones almost as sure and certain a stamp on the individual. For instance are you comfortable with noise or feel you should run like you are on fire at the first big boom? I favor quiet, usually adding that I like the sounds of nature, which is not all that quiet really. There are a lot of raucous birds and clattery leaves out there, not to mention crows and red squirrels as disturbers of any peace. But then there are people who can’t step outdoors without something musical stuffed in an ear, I expect as an act of defiance to keep society and nature at a careful distance to their beat. The amount of noise a person is willing to make is another area. Some make way too much. With nothing more than their two lips there are people who can drive me out of a room quicker than a loud fart will silence an entire congregation. (Even using a whoopee cushion will, however, get you kicked out, possibly permanently.)

Do you have a color? Are you partial to blondes and diamonds or to emeralds and green? You’re sure to have some form of color instinct. If you know someone who’s crazy for red don’t you sense something about them from that preference? Or maybe you’d notice it from the colors that are not liked. In my case I’ve never been very fond of blue or pink. When my generation was offered charcoal grey and pink as new fashion I was OK with the charcoal grey part but pink was not my color. Even Navy Blue upset my balance. It is so dark a color it almost looks black, but it has just enough blue in there to fuss me. Imagine the rough time I had with blue jeans. I was fine with the tan and black versions. I wore those for years before finally being able to fit into a blue jean and not feel like a being lost and out of my element.

Mark Twain commented “It’s not easy being eccentric.” I’d add that any system intolerant of eccentricity is lethal to being human.