Jonathan Aitken’s Nixon: A Life 10

On page 461 of Nixon: A Life, Jonathan Aitken states:

“…Nixon abroad had a personal style that was far more assured, confident and dignified than the image he portrayed at home.  At close quarters with his fellow Americans he could be socially inept and visually insecure.  Yet when travelling overseas, as if by the wave of a magic wand, he discarded his domestic complexes and resentments.  From the moment of arrival on foreign soil he exuded strength and often warmth.  A small part of this transformation may have been due to the realisation that he was usually being welcomed by people who admired him for his humble origins; who neither knew nor cared whether Whittier was an Ivy League university; and whose respect for his abilities went back a long time to the days when he had first begun to acquire his detailed knowledge about the affairs of their own country.”

It’s good when a person can find his or her niche, isn’t it?  I long for social settings in which interaction with people is not such an uphill battle.  Is it all right to have that kind of longing, or does that feed into any notion I may have that my social struggles are always somebody else’s fault—-that the problem is my environment, not me?  Well, I don’t want to get to the point where I am only blaming others without taking a good hard look at myself and what I may be doing wrong.  At the same time, there are some people and places that are more accepting and less judgmental than others.  That’s just a fact.  I am not overly optimistic that I will be socially accepted in those sorts of settings, mind you, but perhaps I could thrive better in those settings than in other settings.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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