Tendencies on a Continuum

If I didn’t know better, I might think that title had something to do with science and physics and maths! But I want to use it to talk about life.

We’ve talked about how important it is to “Know Thyself,”  as the ancient maxim states. How can we know which way to aim if we don’t know where we’re starting from? Aristotle talked about virtue lying in the middle of two extremes of vice; but I think it’s safe to talk about a balanced life of happiness lying the middle of two extremes of personal tendency, which aren’t necessarily morally bad or good.

Envision human preferences and action (behaviour) as a continuum. At each end is an extreme, but very few people actually live at one extreme or the other. We rarely meet someone who always wants to spend time in giant roomful of strangers, for example, or someone who never wants to meet anyone new. Most of us tend towards one or the other, but there’s a lot of room for variation, even in our own lives. Continue Reading