Twelve Things I Love About You

valentine from doggybloggy
Lately I’ve been thinking about the qualities that the people I love have in common. And about the qualities that I look for in prospective collaborators and partners in various ventures — projects, enterprises, communities. And about the qualities I treasure in a friend. And about the qualities I try to exemplify myself, in practicing to Let-Myself-Change to be a better model, in trying to make the world a better place..

It turns out they’re all the same qualities.

  1. Intelligence: A combination of good critical thinking skills and excellent instincts (and a willingness to trust them). Smart people are fun, and sexy.
  2. Emotional Strength: Freedom from neediness — it’s OK to love attention and appreciation, but when someone can’t live without constant external validation, they can become unbearable. If you want others to love you, you have to love yourself first.
  3. Attention Skills: Emotional sensitivity, perceptiveness, awareness, openness, capacity to listen, to focus the senses on what is really happening, and collaboratively figure out what it all means. I know people who live their whole lives in their heads, and others who live in an emotional cocoon; they need to learn to get out more, to get outside themselves.
  4. Honesty: About what you love, what you can’t stand, what you believe in, and what you have doubts about. Just get it all out there. But be positive — don’t criticize, offer constructive ideas and alternatives. And never, ever lie (that includes saying nothing when there is something that must be said).
  5. Communication Skills: Ability to articulate concisely and precisely what you know and what you think and what you love, orally and in writing (and to show, not just tell).
  6. Learning Skills: The self-directed ability to discover, access and process useful information (captured, experiential, and in conversation). This is the key to self-management and independence and making yourself a useful and valuable partner.
  7. Passion and Responsibility: Belief that what’s possible can happen, and energy and a sense of responsibility directed to a shared purpose. 
  8. Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity: The desire and capacity to find out what you don’t know, to think about what could be, and to bring those imaginings to fruition.
  9. Different Perspectives & Complementary Strengths: We are often attracted to people who share our beliefs, our culture, and our skills, but in my experience the best partners are those whose gifts and points of view complement each other (i.e. neither conflict nor overlap).
  10. Self-Knowledge, and Knowledge of Others’ Capacities: Knowing which capacities you have, and which you lack, and what you know, and what you don’t, and what others can do better than you can, is enormously important to collaboration and love, especially in coping with challenges.
  11. Love, Respect and Trust: Most of us love and trust those who love and trust us in return. The alternative is dysfunctional and dangerous, a recipe for either abuse or co-dependency.
  12. BGP: Beauty, grace and presence: Deny it all you want, we all prefer to be with people who are attractive, gracious, charismatic, and energizing. Some are naturally more gifted at this than others, but we can all improve, with practice.

As I was compiling this list it occurred to me that these are also the qualities we, as writers, hope to attract and bring out in our readers, and the qualities that, as readers, we value in good writers.

So now you know, dear readers, why I love you so much I am compelled, out of joy and the privilege of your attention and the desire to keep you coming back, to write my heart out, every day, a total so far of 5,000 pages, 25 books’ worth of what I know and think and care about. I think you, those of you who stick around, exemplify these twelve qualities.

And your attention and appreciation, more than anything else, has informed and defined my journey to learn and discover and convey and start to make a difference in this world. This blog really has been, from the start, a collaboration, a partnership with you.

I’m honoured to be in your company, dear collaborators and partners in love and conversation and community.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Category: Let-Self-Change
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5 Responses to Twelve Things I Love About You

  1. Mariella says:


  2. David Parkinson says:

    Thank you in return, David, for creating one of the few blogs that I feel like trying to live up to. It’s a constant inspiration.

  3. Jon Husband says:

    Thanks, and likewise. Yes, you are an inspiration.

  4. Amanda says:

    This is the outer layer of why I enjoy your blog as much as I do. The inner layers are just that: inner. They plant themselves inside me and grow, distending my thoughts and stretching how far I question those thoughts. What I get from your blog is personal self exploration and, sometimes, discovery, which is always such… such a feeling. The first post of yours I commented on was Grateful in which I also asked for your adivce. After reading your blog for a couple of weeks, I felt that I could potentially benefit from any words you could offer. Which you did; and which I did. You responded to my comment in an email as well as a blog post. I many not have been the sole subject of that post, but I felt included nevertheless. Thank you, Dave.

  5. Siona says:

    Oh, Dave. Thank you. I have some strange sense that your blog, the whole of it, every word, is one long love letter… to the earth and to humanity and, perhaps, to each one of us readers. Or at least it’s very easy for me to believe that.Thank you thank you thank you, and Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.

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