Cartoons

Elizabeth Wagele, author of a number of books on the Enneagram, has a new one, The Enneagram for Teens. It is a superb book and I recommend it. The book has one salient feature I want to comment on. Wagele uses cartoons and I think cartoons and the Enneagram are perfect together.

Our Enneagram style has a tendency to do the same thing to our personality that a cartoon does to a picture. It simplifies. A good cartoon is a simplified (technically, stylized, I suppose) picture, focusing on one or at the most only a few characteristics. So does our Enneagram style. If we have only one habitual response, life is simpler. Impoverished but simple. A good cartoon exaggerates to make a point. So does our Enneagram style: we call it “over-reacting.” If our Enneagram style is pronounced enough, we become a caricature. Scrooge is so bad a five that he becomes a caricature.

So if you are teaching the Enneagram, Wagele’s many books provide a marvelous resource for teaching. The cartoons are immediate, often funny, disarmingly accurate and provide a good visual addition to a spoken presentation.