„The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament.“

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

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Sydney J. Harris Foto
Sydney J. Harris44
American journalist 1917 - 1986

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Erich Fromm Foto

„The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.“

—  Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980

Quelle: Man for Himself (1947), Ch. 3
Kontext: Temperament refers to the mode of reaction and is constitutional and not changeable; character is essentially formed by a person’s experiences, especially of those in early life, and changeable, to some extent, by insights and new kinds of experiences. If a person has a choleric temperament, for instance, his mode of reaction is "quick and strong.” But what he is quick or strong about depends on his kind of relatedness, his character. If he is a productive, just, loving person he will react quickly and strongly when he loves, when he is enraged by injustice, and when he is impressed by a new idea. If he is a destructive or sadistic character, he will be quick and strong in his destructiveness or in his cruelty. The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.

Roger Waters Foto
Susan Cain Foto

„Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

Olly Blackburn Foto

„The core idea was to be as realistic as possible and we wanted people to identify with the characters.“

—  Olly Blackburn Film director and screenwriter

[Edinburgh International Film Festival, www.edfilmfest.org.uk, http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/news/2008/06/self-portrait-olly-blackburn, Olly Blackburn, News - Self portrait: Olly Blackburn, 20 June 2008, 23 February 2012]

Jim Henson Foto

„I think it's good to be your own person. But individuality is a mixed blessing. People who are 'different' are isolated.“

—  Jim Henson American puppeteer 1936 - 1990

Interview with The Boston Globe (1989)

Immanuel Kant Foto
Diane Ackerman Foto

„It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.“

—  Diane Ackerman, buch A Natural History of the Senses

Quelle: A Natural History of the Senses (1991)

„Randomness, chaos, uncertainty, and chance are all a part of our lives. They reside at the ill-defined boundaries between what we know, what we can know, and what is beyond our knowing. They make life interesting.“

—  Ivars Peterson Canadian mathematician 1948

Quelle: The Jungles of Randomness: A Mathematical Safari (1997), Chapter 10, “Lifetimes of Chance” (p. 202)

Barack Obama Foto

„Immigration is our origin story. And for more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character; it’s our oldest tradition. It’s who we are. It’s part of what makes us exceptional.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

2015, Naturalization Ceremony speech (December 2015)
Kontext: Just about every nation in the world, to some extent, admits immigrants. But there’s something unique about America. We don’t simply welcome new immigrants, we don’t simply welcome new arrivals -- we are born of immigrants. That is who we are. Immigration is our origin story. And for more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character; it’s our oldest tradition. It’s who we are. It’s part of what makes us exceptional.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger Foto
Anaïs Nin Foto

„Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

„Every art expression is rooted fundamentally in the personality and temperament of the artist.“

—  Hans Hofmann American artist 1880 - 1966

Quote in: 'Hans Hofmann' by Cynthia Goodman, in Portfolio (January - February 1981), p. 47
1970s and later

Erich Fromm Foto

„Neurosis can be understood best as the battle between tendencies within an individual; deep character analysis leads, if successful, to the progressive solution.“

—  Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980

Quelle: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), p. 264

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