I consider one of my chief failings in life to be how many similarities I (sub)consciously trace between my own portrait-of-the-knowledge-worker-as-a-young-man and Sherlock Holmes.
…but that will not stop me from using those personalities in this pseudo-psychological comparison.
How do each of these personality types deal with changing circumstances around them? World events? Job struggles? Raising children? Debt? Similar to Goldilocks, we see three perspectives with three very different approaches, yet a shared destination that forces each of them to ask many of the same questions.
Meet the Cast
Three young men, living under one roof, sharing similar walks of life, finding themselves bound together by conscience, life purpose, their outlook on the world.
This one is consumed by a desire to create and enjoy the fruits of intentional labors. He finds incredible joy in riding horses bareback, working with his hands, and using every ounce of energy in everything he does. Unflinching devotion to moral standards are met with equal frustrations when others do not feel the same way; he is committed to right action. This character can be impulsive and impatient, but does not lack for total devotion when physical labor and service is required. He is a burning torch, muting darkness around him, waiting for his chance to shine.
This one is a deep thinker who finds purpose in helping others and figuring things out. He is consumed by a need to assist those around him, seemingly stunting self-satisfaction in trade for the delight of watching others succeed. Devotion to proper application often limits his willingness to speak his mind; fearing condemnation by others, he often delays too long as he considers every (known) factor of a situation. His demons seem vanquished only by the causes of others, but deep perceptions await their escape at the sign of selfless action.
The most well-balanced of the group, this one is focused on the overall movement and directives of those around him. He leads the charge and inspires a following through his natural persuasiveness; bound by truth, hungry for knowledge, he lives to the fullest so that he can attain more understanding. This passion can wear on those who do not share his fortitude for new things, but has a history of taking action when no one else will. This character contains a philosopher ready to burst forth at any moment, an intense drive for purpose, and unfailing hope.
Outline the Plot
Set these three characters in motion and you have a very interesting range of responses to conflict, joy, loss. When you think about people you know who fit into (or near) one of these personalities, do you wonder about the way they look at the world? How do each of them determine when to act, what would they ask of others, to whom will they turn in times of need?
Our setting is a humble home in a small town, where the three characters reside with a family of seven, belonging to the Hybrid. Every day is a mixture of laughter and grief as children are raised under the loving care of parents and friends. Our cast has decided to take these journeys together, risking the approval of the world around them in exchange for a deeper purpose of holding fast to intangible standards based on Scripture.
Introduce the Problem
Now think about giving our characters something to work on.
I was watching Star Trek: Into Darkness and really enjoyed the differing approaches to conflicts surrounding the Starship USS Enterprise. It wasn’t long before my mind wandered, however, spawning the concept of Holmes/Hobbits out of the paring of Spock/Kirk on screen. Each personality was presented with the same problem and had to work out a solution that fit their character as a part of the crew.
Lone rangers fail. Individual gratification had to take a back-seat to preservation of the unit, if so required.
Back here in the real world, our cast has been wrestling with the issue set before them, working to find a safe route through the firestorm. World events are likely to drive the Hybrid to social action, while Holmes will want to understand the stakes before getting involved. The Hobbit will deal with job struggles in a head-on fashion, but likely desire something hands-on more than the Hybrid would. Holmes will see raising children as part of the big picture and enjoy it, but also make fewer short-term gratification decisions than either of the other two. None of our characters will want to take on debt, though each will deal with it differently, weighing struggles against possible opportunities.
Resolve the Tension
I have always been fascinated by the way people think and how they process information. As a young boy, I can recall times when neighborhood kids would act a specific way, making me wonder what drove them to respond like they did. The standard chiding, wrestling, or peer-driven activities never really made sense to me; I wanted to spend time with a few people where I knew what to expect and how to act.
Each character has benefits: Hobbits are fiercely loyal, Hybrids inspire great devotion, and Holmes-folks are tough to rattle when in their element. As is the case with any personality evaluation, I believe that each type has a role to play in the grand scheme of things. It would be wonderful if we had a planet full of Vulcans, a Shire full of Hobbits, or a place where Sherlocks could perform strange tests on eyeballs and tobacco variants.
We don’t have that luxury, however, which means that our cast has to learn how their skillsets can compliment one another in the heat of battle. This sort of comparison is of great interest to me…though I’m not sure why. It’s something to figure out, to unravel, to understand. For some reason, writing and helping people are just what make me tick.