Charles Starrett

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Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.

A monk cannot shave his own head

Living in our own bodies and minds day in and day out, we become very familiar with many of our strengths and weaknesses. Maybe too familiar.

We may take our strengths for granted, thinking “everybody can do that” when the reality is that everyone cannot “do that.” Similarly we may underestimate the impact of our shortcomings on those around us, or we may become hypercritical and blow them out of proportion.

What holds us back even more are the blindspots in our self-awareness: those strengths and weaknesses that we don’t know about. To become aware of those, we need a mirror; we need another person to reflect back on us what they see in us.

It is said that “a monk cannot shave his own head.” Likewise we cannot see ourselves as others see us. The only way to become aware of our blind spots is to ask the people around us what they see, and then to listen to the answer with openness and vulnerability.

Who can you trust to be honest with you? And are they someone you feel ready to listen to, no matter what they say?

27 June 2022

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