FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Why do we use the traits we do?


The traits have been selected according to a unique approach. Each trait acts like a part of the body. That is, each trait functions like a part of the body. Responsiveness acts like the nerves which respond. Sensitivity acts like the senses which sense. Rather than explain each trait here in this part of the FAQ, the point to share here is simply that traits are chosen because they serve a purpose - a valuable purpose, much as their correlative body part serves a purpose. Think about this: what if traits - behavioral traits - are every bit as important as body parts! For what? For wholeness. And alignment! And harmonizing! The overall picture we get is that there is a "content of our character" for harmonizing!




What qualifies as an objective reason for choosing a trait?


Many traits are chosen in various programs for schools because they are subjectively preferred. One person might think or feel that gratitude is critical trait to teach. Another might think that respect is important. And then they might come up with a short list of traits to teach. Meanwhile, a child will go to a camp or a sports club and learn about other traits, where they're told these are the critical or essential traits to learn. Is it possible that there is some way to objectively select traits and label them essential. Well, it turns out there is. If a trait serves a function, then that means it serves a role that can be evaluated in terms of whether the function is important. For example, what if being loving acts like a heart? Would this lead one to recognize an objective aspect of being loving? Certainly, that is the reality. If being loving acts like a heart, then that suggests that there is an objective reason to value a trait like being loving. It also means one would want to learn how being loving functions like a heart. This is what we mean when we say that there is an objective way to choose traits. Find the traits that act like parts of the body and you have an objective approach.




What is the value of the approach we take?


There is no universal set of traits and values; that is, there is no set of traits and values that is universally appreciated as being valuable. That's where the analogy to the body comes in. What if there are truly parts to a harmonizing overall character, or a harmonized relationship, or even a harmonized organization or society? Well, if there are, it will allows us to do some things we've never been able to do before:

  1. Harmonize to a significantly greater degree
  2. Have a universal vocabularly for harmonizing
  3. Have a way to diagnose misalignments.
  4. Recognize objective concepts necessary for a "content of one's character"
  5. Promote good character and characters, or individuals, and demote those that act poorly.
These are just some of the many benefits of the approach.




What made us suggest that you could compare behavioral traits like being thoughtful and being loving to behaviors or functions of the brain and heart, respectively?


Years of study in psychology and world religion for Cathy and law and economics for Chris, led to the realization that there was a functional common denominator between a body part and a behavior. What a body part does, a behavioral part also does. At first it was the recognition that rights in the societal sphere acts like the nerves or synapse. Then it was a broader realization that several concepts act like body parts. In the societal sphere, or organizational sphere, each of several "institutions", like rights and laws and technology act like parts of the body. In the individual behavior sphere, or the relationship sphere, each of several behaviors act like a body part. When you put all the behaviors (which function like body parts) what you have, well, is something like "wholeness." Or alignment. Or harmony.




Were you looking for this?


No, not in a way some might think. We didn't say anything like, "Hey, wouldn't it be neat if the body were a model for us to use to design 'whole' character, or 'whole' ordered, society." For Chris it was a little different than for Cathy. For Chris it was more like, "It seems as if 'right-setting' in the legal and economic realm, when it was being done well, was nerve-like in its behavior. That led to an exploration to see whether there were other concepts that acted like other body parts. For Cathy, it was a little different. She read some of what Chris wrote and taking that in conjunction with her other readings and learning, it appeared to her that there were some realignments needed - that led to some new concepts which fit with the body. It also led to a broadening of the understanding to include related "inner" concepts, or attitudes, as well as to adding a set of character traits - both the attitude and character traits complemented the behavioral traits. It then became a matter of writing to share what had been deciphered.