This is the final reflection in a 4 part series entitled 'The 4 people you will meet here on earth.'
The first three being, 'the porcupine’ (one of which drove a jet black Audi this morning, spending considerable time on my rear bumper J). There is ‘the pufferfish' (whom I became this am in response to aforementioned porcupine). Finally, there is 'the puppy dog.'
That leaves us with the final person you will meet here on earth: ‘The Profound.’
Profound is what emotionally and relationally healthy people look like in a world full of porcupines, puffer fish and puppy dogs. They’re quite rare. The profound seem to have the uncanny ability to embody the virtues of the first three personality types, without their attending vices.
The Profound can take charge, even in a porcupine-esque way, when conditions warrant it. The difference is that the profound do so in service to others, rather than themselves. Think of the guy who sits in the exit aisle and screams instruction to passengers in order to insure an immediate emergency exit from an airplane.
The Profound are not immune to anger. However, what angers the profound is not their own suffering so much as the unjust suffering of others. Their anger, however, is not retributive or injurious toward the injuring party. Rather, it’s redemptive. Like the puffer fish, the profound oppose porcupines but unlike the puffer fish, they do so precisely because they are for both the porcupine and their victim. The profound are alert to evil, provoked by evil, address evil, but (and this is the trick) are not converted by evil. Think of MLK and his insistence that he was as much trying to save the oppressor from self-injury as he was the oppressed from being injured.
The profound are like puppy dogs in that they are alert to the needs of others and when possible, attempt to meet those needs. What distinguishes them from puppy dogs is this: The profound have an uncanny capacity to discern the difference between indulging another and serving another. Puppy dogs do not. The profound understand that love is both velvet and steel. Prophet and Priest. Trainer and therapist. The profound are as soft and warm to the broken and injured as they are steely and unyielding to the haughty and self absorbed. The profound will embrace you when you ‘hate’ yourself and confront you when you ‘love’ yourself way too much. They’ll repair you, for you and fight you, for you. Always for you. Think of Jesus, who told a woman caught in the act of adultery. ‘ Neither do I condemn you.’ (Velvet Jesus). 'Now, go and sin no more.’ (Steely Jesus).