The delusions of introversion

In my approximately seven decades of survival on this planet, my accumulated experience reveals that all failures are a result of introversion. This, basically, describes the idea of focusing on one’s own interests, thoughts and feelings. Hardworking for purposes of accumulation of wealth and properties are symptomatic of introversion. This behaviour is often considered normal, even without considering other people’s survival.

People often passionately decry corruption. But rarely do they consider the origins of corruption, as affecting humanity. In this world, there is no effect without a cause. It is introversion that causes corruption. Most people assume that life is about the accumulation of wealth. Jailing corrupt people cannot match the idea of advancing knowledge about the negative effects of introversion.

The synonym of introversion is self-centeredness. Sadly, it is mostly Christianity that advances introversion more than anything else, without evaluating its benefits. The more one is introverted, the more dangerous he becomes. All problems of humanity appear as emanating from introversion.

Due to introversion, most Christians do not even participate in voting. For His disciples to have been successful in reaching out to other people, they had to practice extroversion. We can take it from Jesus, who was a typical example of an extrovert.

Also, a successful sportsperson becomes successful because he/she would be an extrovert. A successful musician or any other talented artist could not have attained success without being an extrovert. Successful comedians are successful because they would be extroverts.

There is truth, though, in that a person can also reach high levels of success, but being considered by others as an introvert. Authors and other geniuses in fine arts can be regarded as introverts. But, as long as engaged in professionalism, they would be extroverts, nevertheless.

The nature of the works of such people, as benefitting the public, is what makes them extroverts. In other words, whatever one does, in introverted enclaves, leads to extroversion, when attracting public admiration. Conversely, one can be in the public domain, but introverted, at the same time.

Introverted personalities do not think in terms of benefiting other people, but themselves. There is no reason, for such people to draw free oxygen. They are like salt, having lost their saltiness (Matthew 5:13-14). Jesus gave a parable, typically illustrating introversion. To those, focusing on wealth, even though considered ethical, Jesus had this to say:

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21 NIV).

The world’s outcry about apartheid in South Africa resulted from a sustained principle of introversion. All oppressive systems can be viewed as pursuing the principle of introversion. Everything to do with self-centeredness is derived from introversion. As far as introverts are concerned, it is perfectly acceptable to view oneself as better, rather than facilitating the betterment of other people.

Most of those aspiring to become successful are unaware of the need to discard introversion, before engaging in any endeavour. It takes an extroverted personality to be successful. It is only the extroverts who have the capacity to realize the needs of others, thereby, establishing businesses that provide services to other people.

For instance, when living out in a rural setting, one easily realizes some business opportunities. He may consider the plight of ordinary people in that area having to walk long distances for a grinding mill. He then sells some of his cattle to buy a grinding mill, to cater for the needs of the community.

However, introverts are known to get involved with schemes that frustrate developmental programs. From the introverts, also come stories of engaging in what is called “kuromba”, in Shona. Such witchcraft is caused by introversion, as practised by those envying successful business people. These introverted characters can be extremely jealous of other successful business people.

They love the limelight but are unaware of the extroversion that goes with it. There may be justifiable reasons for those appearing as introverted. Just as there are many factors leading to extroversion. The life of a human being can be very unpredictable, as long as surrounded by introverts.

Hence, there can be no substitute for communication, facilitated by extroversion. The extroverts appreciate their being what they would be, among other people. However, the introverts wish they were somebody else, but certainly, not themselves.

Therein, remains the causes of all problems of humanity. Most people are not aware that each person was created to be him/herself. When another person succeeds in one area; that does not mean any other can similarly be successful, in that field.

The business of introverts is to frustrate those doing better than them in life. The only reason why introverts are envious is their self invalidation. Instead of adopting the principle of extroversion, to also attain successes in life, introverts prefer the elimination of those succeeding.

There is no truth in that introverts cannot possess something of value to benefit others. Their problem starts with their inability to know themselves. They degrade everything about themselves so that their own potential remains untouched until they die.

Due to introversion, their true identity remains enigmatic. There is much that is unknown about introverts. To make matters worse, ordinary people will always make assumptions to falsely describe the identity of introverts. Unfortunately, most introverts would simply agree with what others assume about them.

To introverts, agreeing with the opinions of others is necessary to attain peace. The manifestations of introversion, among most people, can, therefore, be manipulated by those, also suffering from the same malady. Poor levels of communication are a result of introversion among most people.

Zimbabwe was plunged into introversion in 1980. For whatever reason, introversion became fashionable. Adopting an introverted lifestyle was considered civilized. Introversion had been basically practised by whites. Black communities adopted it, to an extent of even choosing exclusive schools for their own children.

They admired the white community’s introversion, without realizing it to be detrimental to their own country. Hence, the idea of introversion permeated into black communities, as way back as 1980. The technology of introversion and its effects had not been known. Historians ought to capture this as valuable data, for reasons of posterity.

The deterioration of both standards and dignity of our people is a result of adopting introversion. Black people assumed that introversion was trendy, thereby discarding their own culture of extroversion. Some of them assumed that relocating to Western countries was fabulous. They could not confront the worsening situation in their own country.

The greatest expository of the effects of introversion was highlighted by Jesus, constantly castigating the Pharisees. Only introverts have a tendency to be hypocritical. This is because they love to falsely display what is considered admirable by other people.

The reality of their identity remains hidden in their introversion. This is the opposite of extroverts, generally not worried about the opinions of other people but displaying their true personalities. As long as such extroverts consider doing what they know to be right.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

“Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto white sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:23-28 KJV).

Although appearing as free, those hypocrites were slaves, according to how they conducted themselves. A free person is honest and respects his own decisions, rather than being controlled by other people’s opinions. Free people are those who can confront their own evil conducts.

This is not true of an introvert, who prefers projecting what he assumes as inviting respect from other people. There is no denial, though, that many people appear as extroverts, yet are evil, against other people. Such people advance falsehoods that injure other people’s characters. They use that as a manifestation of freedom of speech.

The propagandists, in this world, are introverts. Their idea is to soil other people so that they can appear clean. Virtually, the introverts maintain that for them to survive, other people have to die. This is the type of communication they keep to themselves, which is manifested in the effects of such evil behaviour.

There is no need to assume that introverts cannot be found among those known to be dedicated Christians. Most introverts are, actually, attracted to Christianity, for the sole reason of being viewed as good. Let me actually stretch this, to suggest that denominationalism is driven by introversion in Christianity. Although none of those Christians would agree with this postulate.

The phenomenon of denominationalism in Christianity is assumed justified. But that is not true. Denominationalism is driven by introversion. There may just be a few individuals among those denominations who subscribe to extroversion. The majority of members among those denominations are introverts.

The introversion, as sustaining Christianity in Zimbabwe, is what developed an evil governing system. Some of those Christians maintain that voting is unChristian, as they assume that Christianity implies being not part of this world. For expediency, others feel obliged to support the prevailing evil government system, while loathing those in opposition politics.

In other words, Scriptures are interpreted to suit the needs of the respective Christian groupings, rather than objectivity. They covertly blame God for the bad governance, without accepting responsibility. They maintain that Jesus is the one who would come and correct all existing wrongs.

This displays that the more one becomes a Christian, the more he becomes introverted. But true Christianity subscribes to extroversion more than introversion. A person cannot call himself Christian when being an introvert. Jesus left an example for Christian living. He was an extrovert, who was acceptable to all people.

He conversed with everyone, including the most despised. An introvert desires to protect his own integrity, more than grant integrity to other people. His main worry is always about how other people view him, hence living a hypocritical life.

Extroversion seeks to add value to other people, more than having concerns for self. This implies that only sacrificial services are the reason for living in this world. If the answer for one’s existence is not associated with the impact of benefiting other people, that life would be empty.

It is impossible for true Christians to dissociate themselves from the evils of this world. Jesus said Christians should not put their lights under a bushel (Matthew 5:13-14). He taught that His followers were to be extroverts, rather than introverts. The apostle Paul expounded.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV).

The new creation that the apostle Paul declared as having come was extroversion, compared with introversion. There cannot be any other extroversion that surpasses what was displayed by Jesus. This is all about leaving an impact on other people, rather than living for an impact on self.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

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