For years (decades) I subscribed to the old adage that there’s something good in everyone. Lately I’m amending that to ‘there may be something good in everyone, but some bury it so deep that there is not a shot in h*#@ that you’ll ever discover what it is”. I’m not even being sarcastic. I never thought I’d say it, but I think there is such a thing as being completely hollow. It’s easier when you can say a person has a different outlook or a different set of values. Face it, we’re not designed to like everyone that crosses our paths. And that’s normal. But I’m befuddled when there’s just nothing there. Years ago when I worked in the field of Leadership Development I came across one person (out of thousands) that passed through several instructors, where we all came to the same conclusion — we couldn’t coach this individual because there was nothing behind the smile. And by nothing, I mean nothing. It was both depressing and fascinating. The poet TS Eliot really nailed it when he said:
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Why am I thinking about this? Well, I actually have a character in one of my manuscripts that is quite simply a ‘hollow man’. Since I don’t think that the world is saturated with such individuals (thank goodness) I want to make sure people will see this person as believable. Have you ever met someone like that? Don’t think bad personality think no personality…not boring just empty.
Okay, I’m off to find some chocolate because I think I’m now depressed!