There are different ways people react or respond to situations and how people judge such reactions. Most often, peoples reaction or response to situations depends on their personality, background and upbringing. On the other view-point, people often judge a matter based on their own experience (how they would likely react to a situation) than putting into consideration that their personality and other's are not the same, neither their background or upbringing identical. In essence, no two situations can ever be the same.
I remember two friends of mine, Emeka* and Ahmed* who just graduated from University, they both seek the same things in life, a good job, comfortable home and get married in time. Emeka believes that to be successful you must work hard and struggled. Things don't come easy and life certainly is not a bed of roses. Ahmed on the other hand believes that to be successful you don't need to stress yoursel. His common slogan is "If it will be it will be." Do your best and in time other things will fall along. Looking at these two individuals they do have common or similar interest and goals, they could come from the same country and university even graduated at the same period of time but their response to a particular situation were never the same. Emeka could think of someone like Ahmed as lazy, unsuccessful and expects things to work by chance. He simply can't comprehend such rational. While, Ahmed would see Emeka as competitive and ambitious and may not understand his point of view.
When I was young I had a friend named Ben* in college who got into a fight with my course mate Steve* they where both in line trying to squeeze in for a Man United match against Arsenal in a football centre and Ben was getting tried of the queue and the constant push from behind by Steve. When he got fed up of Steve's constant pushing he warned him to stop but Steve sarcastically told him to find his way to the end of the queue or he should find somewhere else to watch the match (indirectly saying he should piss off) Ben suddenly lost his cool and slapped Steve. We lost 25 minutes of the match because of the incident.
Someone looking at both sides the issue would wonder why Ben would have done such a thing or someone would simply say Ben should have ignored Steve or walked away. However, considering the issue from Ben's point of view, one could understand why he did such. Ben believes that to be respected he has to be seen as tough and there consequences for letting others belittle you. Ben was of the view-piont that it could happen again if he had let it go.
These varying perspectives are all caused by so many factors personality, background, upbringing and so on, but I will like to look at it from a different perspective, that is how we view time.
According Social psychologists there are Six ways people think about time. And these times perspectives structure our lifes. They are call the Personal Time Zone.
The first two are based on the past.
- Positive thinkers
- Negative thinkers
Positive thinkers: These set of people keep and reflect on positive memories such as fun childhood moments and friends, high school and college days, weddings and anniversary, birth of a child, birthdays, travel experience, and achievements in life. They keep records of experiences such as, family and photo ablums, valuable gifts, and books or records. These are called past positive thinkers. For example, a man might have an album of his first ride on a bicycle, his first football T-shirt given to him by his dad, his graduation picture from high school, eating with his friends from college, his convocation ceremony with his parents and his first business successful contract.
Negative thinkers: These set of people are also absorbed by earlier times but focus on disappointments, failures, and bad decisions. They spend a lot of time thinking of how life could have been. Examples include: Regret of marriage, loss of a child, bullying experiences, poor family background. I remember a story of a man who suddenly becomes angry whenever he see his wife, he regrets marrying her, he spends most of his evenings after work at a bar drinking all night, avoiding the challenges he has to face.
The second two are based on the present
- The Fatalistic
The Hedonistic: Present hedonist believes the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life and are driven my immediate sensation and seeks every opportunity to maximizer pleasure. The lifestyle of a hedonist is usually fun filled and can be a source of refreshment to others when around one. Todays hedonist lifestyle implies endless rounds of fun (partying, drinking, dancing) vacation, and sexual indulgences. It holds slogans such as: "Living for the moment" "Why worry when you have today." "Life is to short better make the best out of today." Living with a present hedonist is best compatible with a fellow hedonist or like minds but it has a high economic challenge involving maintaining and/or controlling spending habits.
The Fatalistic: Fatalistic coming from the word "fate" or "destiny" in which a present Fatalistic believes that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. They live in the moment just as the present hedonist but these moments are products of circumstances beyound their control. They hold slogans such such: "Whatever will be, will be" "Your must now run the course that's been set of it" "You can't change the past. You can't even change the future, in the sense that you can only change the present one moment at a time, stubbornly, until the future unwinds itself into the stories of our lives" This reflects well on the earlier story about Emeka and Ahmed, and by observation the motive and reasoning behind Ahmed's reaction to life after University. Fatalistic more often tend to be free from anxieties of life, have less health issues but are not well organised, goal oriented or driven.
To be continued.....
NOTE: Some names have being changed (*)