Thursday, August 25, 2011

The gift of charm

Where I work, we receive telephone inquiries. Several months ago, someone called with some of the usual questions. Two people he spoke to commented to me, "He's very charming." Usually, it's normal to get inquiries, and usually it pretty much goes routinely, and so usually there's no comment made about it. But this person was so outstandingly different that he inspired two separate people to remark about him.

Over the past few weeks, I have had occasion to interact with this person face-to-face a number of times, including one lengthy conversation. The effect continues to be the same. This person is charming. When I talk to him, I feel I want the conversation to continue.

I recently read Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton. In that world, elves have the power to create a "glamorie." With glamories, elves can cause themselves to look different, cause someone to fall in love with them, or cause someone to want to do something.

It occurs to me that this charm that this person has is much the same. He seems to have some magic power to cause people to be positively inclined toward him.

I expect that it is most effective in superficial relationships. It's a surface behavior, and when you get to know someone really well, sometimes the surface behaviors become less relevant. But, it is a very useful ability to have.

Several of my relatives seem to have something similar. They travel, and they can arrive in a town with very little, and the next thing you know, people are offering them jobs and housing.

Charm is a very powerful gift, which can make it much easier to get many of the things we want. But just as in the fantasy novels, each gift also has its costs, and each person has different gifts. I admire the gift of charm and wish I had it, but I know that I have my own gifts, and I know that people blessed with the gift of charm may be unhappy or may wish for different gifts. There are people I love who are completely bereft of charm, and so I know that my lack of charm does not make me un-loveable.

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