A place to play with my world view. A space to pontificate, ruminate, and cogitate. A home for words that somehow escaped my mind.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Periodically in Christian, non-Christian and popular self-help literature a book on temperament surfaces. I have read a couple of these books and have found them at least moderately useful in assessing myself and understanding a bit about my strengths and weaknesses. The essence of temperament is a predilection or innate inclination toward certain attitudes and behaviors due to some inborn quality. Kind of a hard wiring of the human system predetermining personal qualities.
As a self-help tool it at least gives you some boxes into which to place yourself, wholly or in part, for the purpose of self-analysis and self-instruction. The whole thing does seem to have some validity, having a considerable history and having been studied in the field of psychology. That makes it at least a bit more tenable than astrological horoscopes for self-analysis and guidance. They both can be tools of self-analysis, with a "use at your own risk" disclaimer.
The idea of temperament does seem to go along with the idea of hard wired inclinations in humans. In essence, it is at least possible that some of our tastes and inclinations are built-in. They are somehow a part of our being, so much so that the analogy of hard wiring can be applied and understood. Like temperament and even astrology this analogy can best serve as a very generally guideline.
The whole thing also touches on the nature vs nurture debate. The complexity of studying such ideas is daunting, at least to me. How do you isolate nature (temperament) from the great many different influences that impact any given life (nurture)? Even if any authoritative research can be done, how will it be colored by various factions seeking to serve their own purposes?
I recall reading about research that indicated that some criminal behavior might be linked to certain genes. This was simply reported in the news, essentially as information acquired as a by-product of other genetic studies. The mere prospect of such research going forward had civil libertarians reacting. They did not support such research, recognizing that any supporting evidence regarding a genetic predisposition toward criminal behavior could have significant impact on the rights of individuals.
Some of the more scientific bloggers I read hold to a purity in science, that bastion of research. In an unadulterated form science is a wonderful tool for exploring and documenting the nature of the observable universe. Yet considering the previous paragraph, can such purity be maintained? Perhaps. However, it might also be lost in the smoke and mirrors and muddied waters created by factions serving their own agendas.
Addressing the matter of some predilections being built into humans prior to birth, I would present the long lived idea of temperament as informal evidence. Temperament can also serve as an informal guide for aiding children in education, and can be used by adults conducting self-exploration for the purpose of self-improvement.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.