This article places a lot of emphasis on mental health and hence there is a need to elaborate on personality and individual differences, especially bringing in intelligence.
When we introduced personality, we said that it is about who we are and that there are similarities and differences in thought, behaviour, actions, and feelings. Individual differences can be applied to improve our understanding of ourselves, including our perception of the World. This in turn influences our mental health and wellness.
Our personality is expanded into various spheres of our lives. This includes social and cognitive psychology including our perception of the world. Individual differences in particular are not just about people but also include our different approaches. This establishes our psychological dimensions that apply to people, and at the same time, allows for dispositional differences. It is imperative to understand that identifying and using individual differences, including our thoughts and behaviour, actions and feelings is crucial in facilitating a better understanding of the complexities of our personality. A part of this is the optimistic and pessimistic paradigm. People who have an optimistic attitude towards life and living tend to be more positive and enjoy fulfilling lives. On the contrary, people who are pessimistic tend to have a negative attitude and give in too easily.
Personality, including our similarities and individual differences, is not just about people but also how we apply our perception to everyday life. People have a tendency to either be pessimistic or optimistic. This is despite the fact that people have the same or similar life experiences. Therefore, it is about how they handle and think about these experiences.
This is reflected in our lives, for instance, the way we talk to people and also in other ways such as the way different people handle discussions and arguments. There are various ways in which people tackle arguments according to their personality. This includes people who are difficult, argumentative, troublesome, and others who will never admit that they are in the wrong.
The Story of the Tiger and the Donkey
The story is told about the tiger and the donkey. A long time ago, the tiger and the donkey were great friends.
One day, the donkey told the tiger that the grass was blue. The tiger did not want to argue with the donkey. So the tiger calmly told the donkey: ‘No, the grass is green.’ The donkey could not accept this and insisted that the grass was blue. The discussion went on and on and soon after turned into a big argument.
The two friends decided to settle the argument by submitting the issue before the King of the Jungle, His Highness the Lion. They walked deeper into the forest, to the King’s palace. But before reaching the clearing in the forest where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey started braying: ‘Your Highness, is it true that grass is blue?’
Soon, the lion heard the donkey’s voice and replied: “True, the grass is blue.” The donkey rushed forward and knelt before the King. He told the King: ‘The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts me that the grass is blue. This annoys me very much. Your highness, please I beg you to punish the tiger.’
The King immediately pronounced a very harsh sentence on the tiger. He declared: ′′The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence.” The donkey jumped joyfully and went on his way, contented and repeating: ′′The grass is blue.”
The tiger accepted the punishment. However, he said that he had a question. The King said he could ask his question. The tiger went on: ′′Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all. Yet the grass is green?”
The King replied: ′′In fact, the grass is green”.
The tiger asked: ′′So why do you punish me?”
The King replied: ′′The punishment has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because you, a brave, intelligent creature, can waste precious time arguing with a donkey, and then come and bother me with a silly question.”
This story has very important teaching that improves our personality. This is because its moral teaching demonstrates that there are those who are willing to learn, rather than bickering with those who aren’t ready to learn anything.