An Explanation of Human Chameleons

cha⋅me⋅le⋅on

[kuhmee-lee-uhn, meel-yuhn]

–noun

1. any of numerous Old World lizards of the family Chamaeleontidae, characterized by the ability to change the color of their skin, very slow locomotion, and a projectile tongue.
2. any of several American lizards capable of changing the color of the skin, esp. Anolis carolinensis (American chameleon), of the southeastern U.S.
3. a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.
4. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. Chamaeleon.

Origin:
1300–50; var. of chamaeleon < L < Gk chamailéōn, equiv. to chamaí on the ground, dwarf (akin to humus ) + léōn lion; r. ME camelion < MF < L, as above
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Please direct your attention to Definition 3.  “a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.”
Let me tell you why I disagree with this.
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I believe human chameleons are essential in this world.  People who have multiple versions of themselves can play many roles in society, and fill many voids at once.  To be a chameleon is to adapt constantly according to the need of the situation.  What this definition is implying is that society changes them, but it’s actually quite incorrect: a chameleon changes intentionally to best suit society.
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To be a human chameleon can have its benefits, both individually, and in social groups.  If a chameleon chooses its friends wisely, they can be everything they want to be, simply by proxy.  Through the chameleon’s innate desire to change, they can actually inspire themselves through their friendships to become like the people they so admire.  Becoming better is never a bad thing.  A chameleon always knows its true colours, but will sacrifice peacocking its identity for the sake of the situation.
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Now let’s look at the word fickle, defined as:

fickle
adjective
1. marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments; “fickle friends”; “a flirt’s volatile affections”
2. liable to sudden unpredictable change; “erratic behavior”; “fickle weather”; “mercurial twists of temperament”; “a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next” [syn: erratic]
(from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fickle ) by Princeton’s online dictionary, WordNet 3.0.
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Unpredictable change“?  How did chameleons suddenly become unreliable?  No, you won’t see a real chameleon change its colours when perfectly blended somewhere….. or they would no longer blend, and that’s not what a chameleon is all about.  Human chameleons are not unreliable; they will blend wherever they may go, but that can be relied upon.  You can always count on a chameleon to reflect their surroundings.
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You may wonder how someone can have a sense of identity if they are constantly changing.  This is a valid question, however, you need simply look at anyone else for your answer.  Can a child have a sense of identity and, as an adult, have the same one?  Can someone have a sense of identity, go through a life-changing moment, and it stay the same?  No, people change; identities change.  However, chameleons generally still have what I call default personalities, ones that they exemplify when they are in situations where they feel comfortable.  These default personalities might, or might not, coincide with their neutral personalities.  Neutral personalities are ones that chameleons adopt when in new situations or meeting new people.  They are the versions of themselves that they have deemed least threatening — to others, or to themselves.  Yes, certain personalities can expose the chameleon more than they would like, and therefore are not usually the same as the default ones.
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Since chameleons are able to change their moods in situations, they can often be unsure of themselves, as they can have easily avoided addressing the issue of beliefs.  Beliefs are as constant in chameleons as they are with non-chameleons; they do not change in different situations; they do not meld any more or less than anyone else’s when faced with new ideas.  As chameleons can often evade difficult confrontations and intimate questioning via distraction through other personalities, some may not be sure as to the real answers of those questions, and when trying to discover themselves, may feel lost.  “Others have already figured out their beliefs,” they may think, “why haven’t I been able to pinpoint mine?”  The solution to this is simply (and very not-so-simply) to ask themselves these very questions, to investigate how they would react in certain ethical situations if no one were around to judge or blend with.  This is a difficult process (and one that tests a chameleon’s ability to moderate their own subjectivity), as a chameleon is used to looking to others for guidance in how to act.  However, even a chameleon will refuse to blend in a situation where they feel something is wrong.  This is due to the beliefs that they have determined.  Regardless the situation, if a chameleon has a belief that is being disregarded, they will not feel comfortable blending.  This is why I feel the definition of being “fickle” is quite incorrect; chameleons do not usually demean their integrity by associating (via blending) with people or situations that are contrary to their personal spirit.
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I hope this has been somewhat informative for people who may feel like they are chameleons at heart, but maybe had previously thought it was shameful.  Chameleons play a vital ‘role of roles’ in society, and should be appreciated for the adaptable creatures they are.
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Copyright L.M. 2008.

Johnny Mac and the Clutch Hit Pack

I’m so happy with my Jays.  Last night, if you didn’t happen to see it, the game was an exciting one.  In previous months, when we were tied at the bottom of the ninth and going into extra innings, we all probably would have assumed we would lose.  We just had such a bad reputation for leaving runners in scoring position, especially in crucial situations.  Finally, it’s gotten to the point where I feel it could go either way.  Last night, though, it was all Jays.

A.J. Burnett pitched just over 6 innings, and did a pretty decent job, though not spectacular like we sometimes get from him.  Rod Barajas deserves a lot of credit for keeping several wild pitches in front of him and preventing runners from moving up.  Downs, Carlson, League, and B.J. also made appearances.  Carlson is pretty much my favourite out of those, because I feel him to be the most reliable….. normally Downs and B.J. would’ve also been on that list, but lately, I just don’t know.  I’ve never liked League, sorry League if you’re reading this (haha).  I just feel that just because someone can throw hard doesn’t mean they will get guys out, and if you’re in the Majors, the first priority is to get guys out.  THEN, and only then, if you can wow them and intimidate them, that’s great.  If you’re just throwing wacky pitches really hard all over the place, they’ll figure that out pretttttty darn quick, and will just wait you out for a walk.  Pitching is not a show-off position; most of the time, if you’re a great pitcher, it’s because you make the game boring (no one hits).  Look at Doc.  That’s the way to do it.  He actually, coincidentally, has a high number of strikeouts….. but ask anyone and they’ll tell you that’s not why he’s a great pitcher.  He’s smart, he’s logical, he’s a workhorse, and he throws consistently.  Downs has been having some trouble with control lately, and I’m just hoping this is a temporary thing.

I’m worried about Lyle.  He’s mentioned his hand is still bothering him, and today on the Blue Jays’ website, it’s a featured article.  That doesn’t sound good at all.  Luckily, it’s the end of the season soon.

I’m very very very very VERY happy for Johnny Mac.  For all the talk that goes on about his poor offense, he sure knows when to pick a good time to hit   🙂   (For those not aware, he got a walkoff hit last night in the bottom of the 11th inning, which you can also see on the main site replay video today.)  So congrats Johnny!!  😀

And what to say about Travis Snider….. well, welcome!!  Four times on base, and a couple crucial clutch hits….. I’m just hoping this isn’t beginners’ luck, and that it means he can handle the pressure.  It sure seems that way right now.

I’m just very content about last night’s performance, considering there were a couple times we almost gave it away, but managed to come back and eventually win it.  That shows persistence and a confidence that I’m almost positive is inspired by Cito Gaston.  When the Twins made mistakes, we capitalized, and that ended up being the difference.  So, yay!

I just wanted to write that little note, since I think that game was definitely worth commenting on…..

Go Jays!