Cheney’s Silent Heart


Cheney's Heartbeat

I first became aware of Dick Cheney when he was a Representative from Wyoming, then took more notice of him during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 when he was Secretary of Defense. Since I’m interested in personalities, I noticed his sarcasm, sourness and secretiveness. As vice-president candidate and vice president, many of us wondered what his role was. Since I’m a cartoonist, I practiced drawing likenesses of him and made him the subject of some political cartoons. He was fun to draw.

Most Enneagram enthusiasts think Cheney is an Asserter type. He doesn’t waste time being polite or trying to be likable and he likes to throw his weight around. What do his sneers mean: “I’m a mean guy to mess with”? “I’m always in a bad mood”? “I don’t care what you think”? “I have permanent indigestion”?

The big news to me now, though, is about his heart. It has deteriorated badly and he’d probably die soon without the new “ventricular assist device” that just got implanted in his chest by way of open-heart surgery. I was surprised to learn that he is now pulse-less! Is that going too far against the natural order of things? While they were being developed some weren’t sure these devices would work—they wondered if heartbeats might be necessary to keep up blood pressure and to make circulation work.

My beloved uncle, also named Richard, had an early artificial valve in his heart. The trouble with it was that it pounded his blood too hard and crushed too many cells. Later, they used pigs’ valves because they were gentler and didn’t do that. Later, my father-in-law had a pig’s valve replace his valve, too. Witnessing those complicated experiences started my interest in hearts and what can go wrong with them.

Cheney’s had a hard time health-wise. He’s had five heart attacks, surgery to repair aneurysms, and a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted. It’s possible the next step could be a heart transplant, but he’d have to do it before he reaches 72. He’s 69 now.

Based on New York Times’ Doctor’s World by Lawrence K. Altman, M.D., Science Times Tuesday July 20, 2010

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“Adventurers” as Children (Type Seven)


The Adventurer, from "The Enneagram of Parenting" by E. Wagele

This cartoon shows an Adventurer child giving a sparkling performance, cheered on and supported. Adventurer children are usually curious, lively, charming, and have many interests. They often do best when they can pick and choose from a rich learning environment, since having many options appeals to them. Routine does not. Adventurers tend to be extraverted, sociable, and talkative, but there are exceptions. Freedom is good; boredom and restrictions are bad from their point of view. Adventurer Norris said he felt like a grasshopper in a world of ants when he was a child.

Adventurer children are usually positive, happy, optimistic, have many friends, and think well of themselves. They may sign themselves up to do too much, but they’re usually resourceful and learn fast. They like to be spontaneous.

Likely variations on this type are those who resemble the Observer type and are studious and focus well and those who resemble the Perfectionist and try to do things right. These two types are at the Adventurer’s “arrows,” the lines that radiate out from the 7th point in the Enneagram. The wings, the Questioner and the Asserter also frequently influence Adventurers, in the first case by adding a more light or jittery feeling to the personality and in the second by adding a heavier, more or definite feeling.

With this post, I will have covered all nine Enneagram styles as children in my WordPress blogs in the past six months. Often, I feature the same type as an adult the next week in my longer, alternating “Psychology Today” blog.

Reminder: Ingrid Stabb and I will give a presentation on our Wagele-Stabb Career Finder from “The Career Within You” on Saturday, July 31, at the International Enneagram Association conference in San Francisco. administration@internationalenneagram.org

We’re also hosting a party for our book at Maxfield’s in the Palace Hotel at 5:30 on the same day, to which all are welcome.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound