I define every person as a balance between four personality traits: Logical, artistic, social, and spiritualistic. Of course, there are many more dimensions to define any single person’s personality and there are other ways categorize personality traits, but I think the balance between these four does a great job to define how any single person will live and experience reality day by day. There is a plethora of diversity in the world’s population, and this is what makes life so beautiful. As humans, we’re all just very intelligent (but very confused) creatures trying to understand and explain the world around us as we discover each new day.
Scientists use logic and words and sometimes do a pretty good job explaining the world around us in an understandable way. Some knowledge is useful, some is not. Useful information is constructed and organized into a way that has practical value. For example, engineering is the practical application of math, physics, chemistry, and biology. Logic is what results in technology, and it has done some immense things to change the world. (To say the least.) However, for the vast majority of ideas and experiences, words of language and words of mathematics are still (and will be for a long time) insufficient for expression.
This is where art comes in. Art does a great job capturing emotions, ideas, experiences, and really any other part of reality. Words are extremely powerful tools when they are used correctly, but they often misguide ideas or cannot quite capture them sufficiently. For example, some words do a great job capturing entire complex concepts, such as “love.” Other words are much more specific and pin-point ideas, such as “schadenfreude.” Art is much less limited in this aspect. It is a form of communication in itself, although it is often much harder to understand than language or mathematics. The great thing about art is that it is open to interpretation. A work of art does not have an “absolute” meaning. If it has personal relevance and sentiment, that is beautiful and meaningful in itself. You don’t think about why you love a song, you simply feel it, you love it, and you dance along to it because it feels right.
The social person’s experience of reality depends on relationships. The balance of extroversion and introversion in a persona is what defines how a person recharges mental energy: either by going out with friends and sharing some laughs or staying in and reading a book. Neither is better than the other, they’re simply different ways to view relationships and friendships and different ways they affect one’s life. (Also, I would argue that no one is completely extroverted or introverted. We all need to be alone sometimes, and we all get lonely sometimes.)
Finally, spiritualists strive to give life meaning. Whether they believe in some form of an after-life or not, they believe that human beings are more than just clever arrangements of atoms. (I don’t like the idea of an after-life, I think the idea takes away from the precious and temporary time we have here on Earth. But that’s a different topic.) Maybe we are more than just clever social creatures. Maybe there is a god, maybe there are many, maybe there are none, and maybe nature itself in its entirety is God. Who knows. Without the efforts of the spiritual, life is beautiful but it is meaningless.
Note: up until now, whenever I have said “they,” I really meant “we.” Inside of every one of us social creature lives a little scientist, a little artist, a little spiritualist, a little philosopher. Some of them simply have louder voices than the others. This is the balance that defines any person.
We all need to understand this about the world, that we’re all very different. And that’s OKAY. Not only is it okay, it is beautiful and it is the reason we have achieved so much as a species. This is not an opinion of mine, it is a fact. It is simply the state of how things are—we will never agree on everything, and we will always choose to live our lives differently. The goal of mankind should not be to agree on everything, it should be to learn to agree to disagree. This is the basis for constructive arguments. The goal of a discussion is not to win the argument, it is to shine light onto reason and widen humanity’s pool of knowledge.
If everyone understood this, we would have a lot less issues around the world. As of today, we have too many problems that are in our control, when we should only have problems that are out of our control. Earthquakes are out of our control. They are part of nature and something we have to deal with as a society. Wars are completely in our control. Why we cannot sit down and discuss issues as civilized beings instead of murdering soldiers (and civilians) around the world is beyond me. The concept of international laws regarding wars is insane to me. Rules for war are literally rules on how you’re allowed to murder each other. I understand they’re necessary, but it is bizarre to me that it is necessary that they are necessary. I digress.
Anyone who thinks he knows anything about anything for certain is a fool. It is precisely the extremists of any cause who are so sure about themselves that cause suffering for the 99% of the population in between the opposite ends of the spectrum. For anyone to be confident in an idea or a cause, he must have an open mind and accept criticism. If his cause is truly just, reason will make it stand against adversity. If it does not stand, it was not a just cause. Anyone who realizes how little he knows about anything is wise. If there is an ultimate “truth” about reality, we as a species know next to nothing about it.
We need to begin looking at humanity as a single entity. Yes, we are seven billion individuals, each with his own dreams and aspirations, but we are also a single society inhabiting Earth. If every effort to kill each other and win the right to claim that an argument is the correct one were replaced with an open-mindedness and constructive discussion, we would be ages ahead of our current time.
So embrace each other, and embrace each other’s differences. Our diversity is what makes the world such a beautiful place, but our lack of acceptance of each other’s differences is what sometimes makes the world such an ugly place.