Individuality ~

Human beings are able to achieve their best potentials if they accept their true nature and bring it to their conscious level; it is not only about “knowing” or “being aware”. We need to really understand the four constituents that make us whole: our body (physical plane), mind (mental plane), heart (emotional plane) and spirit (intuitional plane); how they work or function in chorus, and how they affect the way we naturally represent our inner-world and respond to the outside-world. We often call this 4-in-1 integration as inherent personal style or temperament or natural tendency, depending on the resource we want to use as reference.

The point is: the four constituents or planes altogether have a very powerful influence on our individuality. It makes each human being unique because of the different blend of planes. It makes each of us rich, because here lay our natural strengths in many forms that we call inner-potentials. It also makes us vulnerable and in need of others because of the existing and missing ‘survival’ kit that seem to differ from one human being to another. That is how we develop sociability. Interaction is the attempt to connect with others through positive interdependence; it facilitates exchange of experience, knowledge, emotions and ideas that help us reflect and learn. That’s how it should be. Unfortunately, in reality we also witness co-dependence reinforced by mutually harmful behavior patterns.

Vulnerability also brings in a need to develop self-healing power through passion, devotion and the modeling of divine love. This is how we develop spirituality.

Personality ~

With other internal factors like self-worth and biophysical factors that influence an individual from within, and external factors that influence an individual from the outside, our personality make-up is then shaped. Personality is not the way we represent ourselves naturally. It is a combination of the natural-self and the learned-self, polished through experience and time in response to self-urges and conditions promoted by opportunities and challenges provided by the environment. Our personality is the way we relate to human society and how it is organized. In other words, it is correlated to our choices of behavioral shifting in terms of relationship both in personal and professional settings. While individuality is our inner-self, personality is our outer-self that we project to the world.

Unique individual beings store inner-potentials waiting to be unlocked. Once they are explored and released to the surface, more opportunities and challenges from the environment awaits to test them over and over again until the individual decides whether the discovered potentials are worthwhile to develop. If empowered, these potentials may lead us to something great that may benefit mankind. Ignorance or negligence of one’s “inner-potential” is a huge loss because of the sacrifice of eventual forces that might create breakthroughs.  In this case, the individuality is overwhelmed by social demands. Alternatively, the human being shines while assuming life-roles and social-functions through one’s perfectly designed Individual Being. Developed individuality and refined personality, in fact, may emerge simultaneously. Here, the inner-potentials mature to a significant capacity that enables transformation of authenticity into an expression that subsists in harmony with one’s surrounding.

Character ~

Conflicts occurring  in this world might involve actions, feelings, thoughts, or expressions … between a person and one’s self – the attempt to understand one’s personality as an alternative to individuality, … between one’s self and another/other self(s) – the attempt to understand others or the society contrasted with individuality, … and/or… between one’s self and the ultimate unknown of the universe – the attempt to understand individuality versus one’s realm of spirituality.

If the conflicts are constant or intense, the situation likely calls for meaningful priorities in life. Certain principles or values are now set and affect the choices and decisions laid. Built up as recurring qualities that are positive in nature,  these are what we define as character. It becomes apparent especially in times of crisis. The more intense the conflicts to be dealt with, the stronger characters become, and they appear as consistent behavior. This would be possible only if the individual finds peace of mind while living up to one’s principles or values, or if the individual is engaged to a meaningful purpose or goal.

Behavior ~

While character has a positive connotation, behavior is more general. It corresponds to one’s belief or attitude (outlook toward life, people, things or situation), and can be positive, negative or valueless. Behavior is likely to change when the attitude is altered. Attitude can alter only when experience or circumstances provoke compelling reason to change.

Manners ~

While behavioral patterns might be led by the conscious or subconscious-self, manners, on the other hand, is performed willingly or halfheartedly, and is quite difficult to maintain. It is superficial; and is without depth of character or attitude unless considered worthwhile. Manner is a demonstration of politeness, appropriateness and culture based on norms (standard patterns of behavior that are considered normal in a society).

The Whole Being ~

In developing a whole being, the layers: manners-behavior-character-personality-individuality are necessary to confer. It will help us become more conscious about the impact of our role as a parent, teacher or leader. It will help us to reflect on our self, social and spiritual development, and continue to grow as a whole being. It will help children learn from their parents and students from their teachers and nations from their leaders because the persons they look  up to are fluent in acting, feeling, thinking and dreaming aloud as a whole being.

This argument is undeniable if we agree that the goals of human development (and education) are nurturing human potentials to reach their full capacity … equipping individuals with life skills … modeling relationships through positive interdependence … and preserving humanity through great refinement and concern with the higher things in life.