Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
I’m fascinated by people.
As often as people seem to fall into common patterns, their preferences can be incredibly diverse.
Do we like diversity? Is Paula Abdul right, and Opposites Attract?
The journal Evolutionary Psychology, asked 760 members of an online dating site if they would prefer someone like them or if they would like someone different than them. 85.7% of participants claim to want someone who has their opposite traits.
Then they were asked if they most wanted a partner that complemented them, or resembled them.
The answers showed about sixty-percent preferred to marry someone “with the same sort of personality; the traits, which included neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness…” 1
The studied concluded, that “like-minded people validate each other’s beliefs and views, and there tend to be fewer conflicts as a result.”
People say one thing, but want another.
William Wilberforce explained it this way:
“The human countenance may be well described by its general characters, though infinitely varied by the peculiarities which belong to different individuals, and often by such shades and minutenesses of difference, as though abundantly obvious to our perceptions, it would exceed the power of definition to discriminate, or even of language to express.” 2
To summarize Wilberforce, people are weird.
In the 1800s many people thought William Wilberforce was weird.
– He was counter-cultural and sought to abolish slavery in the British Empire.
– He was counter-cultural and chose to follow Jesus Christ passionately.
– He was counter-cultural and publicly fought for justice as a politician.
– He naturally preferred privacy and quiet in his personal life.
“In human beings there is a constant tension between order and disorder, connectedness and loneliness, evolution and revolution, security and insecurity.” 3
Wilberforce fought back his preference for privacy. He chose to take action when he knew the slave owners and financial sector pressured him to be silent.
He was weird. A weird hero.
1 – The Truth on Whether ‘Opposites Attract’ by Sally Law
2 – William Wilberforce’s A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity is available free.
3 – From Jean Vanier’s Becoming Human