On Traits That Are Actually Skills
Many world problems make a little more sense when we consider traits that we believe to be universal or a matter of willpower, as skills instead.
Some examples: empathy, self-esteem, intellectual honesty, discipline, curiosity.
These are not human traits.
These are skills.
The proof is that the level of performance in these skills can vary immensely between different people. We all know people that are more empathetic or curious or egotistical than others.
Because they are skills, we must develop them if we want to be good at them.
More importantly, there has to be an incentive to acquire that skill, because like learning any skill, it requires effort.
So when you see people lacking empathy, self-esteem, intellectual honesty, discipline, curiosity…
Maybe they are not “choosing” to be self-centered, be defensive, be lazy…
Maybe they just never picked up the skill necessary for that situation because the world never gave them a good reason to do so.
Maybe the world would work a bit better if people considered themselves as skill teachers rather than moral judges.