2018 is the new 1978.
Instead of, “Hey baby, what’s your (zodiac) sign?” the new pick-up line of the well-informed modern man is, “Hey baby, what’s your (Enneagram) number?”
Many an uninformed modern woman jotted her 10-digit cell phone number on a napkin only to realize that her suitor was asking for her 1-digit Enneagram number to quickly assess her personality
and evaluate whether the relationship had any future potential before offering to buy her a drink.
Enneagram past and present
While the traditional enneagram has some ancient roots to it (Enneagram is a combination of
the Greek words for “nine” and “something drawn or written”) in the 1960s it was developed
as a tool of personal introspection and understanding via a typology of nine interconnected
The Enneagram has enjoyed a revival of interest in the past decade along with greater research which is confirming its validity and helpfulness. It has long been a tool used by spiritual directors in the Christian tradition and is being re-introduced to a new generation by writers such as Richard Rohr, Suzanne Stabile, and Franklin’s own Ian Morgan Cron through his popular book “The Road Back to You.”
Enneagrammers know the nine types as:
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play
Naturally it made sense for me to form an Enneagram baseball team. I didn’t say it was a winning team. If Spring Training was any indication it’s going to be a very long season. Here’s a moment that illustrates some of our problems:
Our star pitcher, Jay, is a fiery THREE who when a pitch is called a ball is either furious at himself for throwing a ball or is furious at the umpire for not seeing a perfect strike and calling it as such.
Our catcher, Phil, is a natural TWO who regularly goes out to the mound to calm, console, and
encourage his pitcher after a balk, a wild pitch, a hit batter, a 3-run homer, or a bases loaded walk.
In the fourth inning of a recent game, Jay threw a curve ball that hung out over the plate like a
beach towel on a clothes line. The batter smashed the ball into the centerfield seats — a solo
shot that put the visiting team up 7-1 with no outs. Jay cursed into his glove as the batter touched home plate.
The Sermon on the Mound
Moments later when Jay loaded the bases I motioned for the infield to gather at the mound for
a quick conference.
Before I could speak, Andre, the shortstop and a typical ONE, blurted out, “C’mon, Jay, throw some #*%!@ strikes for a change!”
“Shut up, Andre!” shouted Steve, the third baseman, being his standard EIGHT self. “All of you shut up and just play ball. Actually, give me the ball and let me pitch. I should have been pitching all along. I should always pitch. In fact, I should be the coach too.”
Jay chested up to Steve and challenged him to fight.
First baseman Scott, a quiet NINE, was feeling anxious in this huddle of growing tension. “Can’t we just all get along? Let’s all sing ‘Lean on Me’ and then hug.”
Right fielder, Kelvin, a consummate SIX, rushed in and sighed, “I love you guys, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this game. This isn’t going to end well. In fact, do you really think baseball is the best way for us to be spending our time?”
Our center fielder, Felix, a born FIVE, watched from a distance and said to himself, “I don’t know what’s going on but I hope they work it out. And if they need me they can call me.”
“I haven’t gotten a ball hit to me all day,” complained Rusty, a sulking FOUR and our left fielder who wandered in and stood on the outside of the circle. “I don’t even know why I’m out here. I have so much to offer and my potential isn’t being utilized, recognized, or appreciated. I want to be traded.”
Aaron, our second baseman and resident SEVEN interrupted and said, “Hey guys, I’m not sure if
baseball is really for me. There’s too much standing around. There’s just not enough action and
variety to keep me engaged. Honestly, my idea of a day in hell is a double header in which both games go into extra-innings and the second one is a no-hitter. Hey, who’s with me for drinks
after this disaster?”
“I’ll grill some burgers if you guys want to come over to the house, “offered Phil, the catcher.
But first, I’m wondering if Coach Presson here would like to talk about his feelings.”
Yes, my feeling is that I need a career change.