Two Minute Personality Test

Jonathan-Safran-Foer

What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look though your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone? How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness of ravens”?

Jonathan Safran Foer


Background via Vanity Fair, May, 2014: Chipotle Cups Will Now Feature Stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, and Other Authors:

Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting at a Chipotle one day, when he realized that he had nothing to do while noshing on his burrito. He had neglected to bring a book or magazine, and he didn’t yet own a smartphone. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,”…What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle cup? Or the bag? A few years earlier, he had met Steve Ells, Chipotle’s C.E.O., so he decided to write the executive an e-mail. “I said, ‘I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text,’” Foer recalled. “And unlike McDonald’s, it’s not like they’re selling their surfaces to the highest bidder. They had nothing on their bags. So I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service.’” Foer didn’t know what to expect, but Ells went all in. (Foer) – what interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing. A lot of those people don’t have access to libraries, or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this.” (Read more here.)


Notes:

Comments

  1. Wow.
    Each question pings the heart; challenges the mind.
    And yet – it’s too early for me to take this all in. Will return after more coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Talk about questions to ponder. I especially like the “do you love what you love, or just the feeling”. Can they be seperated? Are they one in the same? I think true love of someone or something is loving it even when it or they are not present. To defend whether if makes one feel good or not so good. To hold on through the good and bad. To always be there when needed unconditionally. To be willing to lay ones life down for such a love. Is it about only the feeling or is it real true love? I think true love is deeper than just the feeling. It becomes embedded in ones soul. Thanks for another great post David!

    Like

    • Bill, thank you. I felt the same way about his short essay. I read it many times and felt the piece pulling me further and further (deeper and deeper) inward. Just awesome thinking and writing. Happy New Year Bill.

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  3. brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant questions…. challenging our thinking and emotions. What does it say about me that I love them all and can answer them with surety … and that I have never been into a Chipotle?

    Does this mean I am delusional or my perception of myself is? Do I not like Mexican food, or is this only a belief … based on my limited exposure to it or from an inability to taste hot food that doesn’t have a curry flavor? Am I conditioned towards curry and have a preference for Indian people over Mexicans? Which of these groups are happier?

    I feel like Lucy ….
    Time for yoga!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Love Jonathan Foer’s idea! It is one of those seemingly “simple” ideas which reeks of genius! A great way to touch lives! Haikus and other forms of poetry would also be great!

    Here is another set of questions which points beyond our ever-shifting personality:

    Are you better off using your head which define who you “think” you are or your Heart which refines you, to reveal what You “truly” are?
    Does thinking/doing enhance the quality of your life or just Be-ing?
    Are we still Human Beings if we spend more time thinking than Be-ing?
    If what you see in the mirror is just a reflection of you, then without using memory what is on your side?
    What were you before you were born?
    What lives in the present when we are busy in our minds living in the past/future?
    Where do we go in deep sleep?
    Do You really love the other or just the image of the other as it fits your own image of yourself?
    Is love just a feeling or our very essence of Being?
    What sees through those eyes, hears through those ears or speak with that tongue?
    Are you “in” your body? Is there a boundary where you end and the “rest of us” begin?
    Are you courageous enough to examine your assumptions, dismantle your beliefs, give up your opinions, step out of your paradigms, be willing to admit you know nothing, and live in the stark nakedness of your Truth?
    Are we aware of the background color of the paper while we read the printed words on it?
    Does language bring us all closer or create distance?

    Crazy hot questions go well with spicey hot food!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear K*: Like Foer’s short piece, I re-read your questions multiple times since you shared them on the 2nd. My conclusions: 1) great questions. 2) You have talent (amazing talent). 3) You need to take this show on the road! Thanks for sharing. Loved this!

      Like

  6. wow. but… walking on moving walkways? to catch a plane on time? who doesn’t? what does he mean, its wrong… since when and why? or did he make that up, just because…yes I know nothing and happily admit it – for the moment. heck.. where is that coffee….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fantastic concept – I love this. I’ve always been the one to say I love reading so much I will read road signs and cereal boxes. Now, I can add Chipotle food bags! The questions..I must return to..later.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Makere's Blog and commented:
    Ouch… too much, too much. Or is it? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Damn, this is fascinating….

    Liked by 1 person

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