Nature: universal yet independent

Devika Sammy posted 1 month ago, 2 Responses
Firstly, I shall define nature as the defining characteristics of a person or thing, and I shall focus on personality rather than physical characteristics. From this definition, the nature of human beings includes both shared and unique features. Shared features make every human similar and may be grouped into motivation, emotional expression and well as cognition. These concepts have been taken from the study of Psychology, the backbone of my academic background and therefore the basis of my conceptualization of the humankind. Nature as a model for consciously expressing individuality in personality may also be examined through motivation and emotional expression. 
Motivation drives behaviour and may be linked to needs, morality and culture. Perhaps the most influential theory of motivation is based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to this theory people are motivated to act in accordance to their needs which are arranged in a hierarchy with the most basic needs, physiological needs, at the bottom, and the highest-level need being self-actualization at the top. The lower order needs must be satisfied before the next higher need becomes a motivator. In addition to needs, morality can also be a motivator for behaviour and one theory, Kohlberg identified three levels of morality, namely pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional morality. According to Kohlberg, people reason out their behaviours according to the depth of their internalization of social values. Furthermore, social values are greatly shaped by culture. Culture in a broad sense refers to how people live is manifested through of religion, language, dress and food. Moreover, many factors shape culture including geographical location, historical era and anthropological considerations. 
Although emotional expressions are universal across cultures, they are not always clear cut. A smile may be a universal indicator of happiness and a frown a universal indicator of sadness, however, an event that may cause sadness in one culture may cause happiness in another. Death may be cause sadness and yet it many cultures, yet for some it may be perceived as an end of earthly existence and freedom for other cultures. As a consequence, a funeral may be sombre for one family but cause for celebration in another.  Additionally, although death may be associated with mourning, for a family that watched their loved one suffer through illness, that family may feel a sense of relief. Despite the universality of emotional expressions, there are individual differences on expressions across cultures and even within cultures. 

Dear Devika,

many thanks for your reflections and valuable thoughts, I am impressed … again 🙂

I truly like how you start your reflection, namely by separating terms and isolating them in order to discover their true meaning and impact in our mindset. What I would like to add to your first paragraph is that we might consider the physical characteristics also as an environmental aspect to our inner self, what would mean that our physical abilities also have or might have an impact on the development of our perspectives towards life.

It is wonderful to read about your perspectives of diversity veiled in cultural codings and life itself. Thank you very much.

Best regards, Daniel

Dear Prof Erdmann,
Thank you once again for your feedback.
Yes. I believe that our physical selves has a great role to play in or internalization of self. For example, a differently-abled person my conceptualize the self as having to overcome that particular challenge and may work much harder than other who do not have the same challenge. Thus, that person may achieve a greater success than one who is less motivated. Or alternatively, our physical strengths or advantages may spur us on to push ourselves further to achieve more. The determining factor then would be our attitude towards our physical self.
Your comments have inspired me reflect further. Thank you!

Devika Sammy