That one of the most important things that differentiates people, that decides who will socialize with whom and so on, is the individual ideal for the tenor—the basic texture—of life. What are you trying to make your life look like?
Or, to put it more succinctly, is a person seeking:
– The most peaceful and/or tranquil life possible
– The most exciting and/or interesting life possible
– The most personally “balanced” life possible
These are three basic philosophies that seem to me to be very different and almost irreconcilable. The first seems to me to be most eastern, most Asian, bound up in values like tranquility, serenity, order, and flow. The second seems to be to be western in character, represented best by rhetorical adages like “live your life to the fullest” and endless repetition of “carpe diem.” The third finds expression in many ways, but what I can say is most often obvious about those that espouse it is that they are consciously and actively seeking to balance their life through acts (often unbalancing it in the process, it sometimes seems to me).
I don’t doubt that people seeking utter peace and calm can get along with other people seeking utter peace and calm, or that excitement lovers love spending time with other excitement lovers. I also suspect that the “balance” people can make their way into the lives of either without undue tension.
What I am not convinced of, however, is that excitement-seekers can ever be happy in the long term with tranquility-seekers. I don’t see how the two can be paired comfortably, for the life of me.
That, I think, is a part of my problem in life these days. I am, for the most part, a tranquility seeker surrounded by excitement and good-story lovers. We can get along in fits and bursts, but trying to glue it all together does little more than exaggerate the cracks in the framework. Is it better to be happy with fits and bursts in such cases?
Do I even know what I’m talking about?