TEMPERAMENT. To start things this beautiful morning I decided to visit Wikipedia to obtain a definition of the word “temperament” and then use that definition to begin today’s blog.

“In psychology, temperament refers to those aspects of an individual’s personality, such as introversion or extroversion, that are often regarded as innate rather than learned. A great many classificatory schemes for temperament have been developed; none, though, has achieved general consensus in academia.

Historically, the concept of temperament was part of the theory of the four humours, with their corresponding four temperaments. The concept played an important part in pre-modern psychology, and was explored by philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Hermann Lotze. David W. Keirsey also drew upon the early models of temperament when developing the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. More recently, scientists seeking evidence of a biological basis of personality have further examined the relationship between temperament and character (defined in this context as the learnt aspects of personality). However, biological correlations have proven hard to confirm.”

For humours? Anytime a word is spelled with the European dialect I immediately become suspicious. So let’s take a look at these “Four Humours”:

“Essentially, this theory held that the human body was filled with four basic substances, called four humors, which are in balance when a person is healthy. All diseases and disabilities resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these four humors. These deficits could be caused by vapors that were inhaled or absorbed by the body. The four humors were black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. Greeks and Romans, and the later Muslim and Western European medical establishments that adopted and adapted classical medical philosophy, believed that each of these humors would wax and wane in the body, depending on diet and activity. When a patient was suffering from a surplus or imbalance of one fluid, then his or her personality and physical health would be affected. This theory was closely related to the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, water and air; earth predominantly present in the black bile, fire in the yellow bile, water in the phlegm, and all four elements present in the blood.

Paired qualities were associated with each humor and its season. The word humor is a translation of Greek χυμός,[3] chymos (literally juice or sap, metaphorically flavor). At around the same time, ancient Indian Ayurveda medicine had developed a theory of three humours, which they linked with the five Hindu elements.”

There is a table, if you’re interested on the pairings of the four humors, their corresponding elements, season, sites of formation and resulting temperaments alongside their modern equivalents on this page should you be interested.

My wife Bonnie has a beautiful temperament and based on this wee bit of information above the environment she grew up in was not exactly paved with fair dust and rose pedals. Her parents bid their goodbyes to each other at an early age for her placing Bonnie alongside her mother Lois during those formative years. Those of you reading this that know the family will and do understand the beauty and positive thinking Lois had always provided her daughter. So this morning I thought I would use this blog to thank the woman directly responsible for shaping the temperament of my wonderful bride.

I love Friday afternoons. I love working all week, working hard and looking forward the delights provided on a Friday afternoon. Mind you I have not always been married to Bonnie so there were some Friday afternoons which led directly into a difficult Monday morning back in those days when my inventory consisted of a sea bag, some barroom t-shirts from around the globe and my work clothes. Friday afternoons these days are generally a glass of wine downtown, some great conversation and the close of a busy week. The way things went down this week were not exactly what I had planned and now that you know the importance of a Friday afternoon you’ll quickly understand why I was so upset when all I had to do was install a wireless router provided by Comcast. Ooy.

I have a flair for networking but when I followed the “easy to install” instructions and found things were not working exactly as planned I grabbed my phone and got on the phone with a technical (?) representative. This of course did not work out well at all and after ninety minutes of pressing 1 for English, 2 for this, 3 for that and then listening to the hold music I just gave up. Bonnie the whole time sat on the couch watching the Red Sox game and I can only imagine the thoughts running through her head during this episode. I just hate to have my time wasted and ninety minutes later there were five more 12 oz bottles for the recycling bucket but we were still without wireless connectivity.

The following morning after a cup of coffee I tackled it again and this time I did it without the use of their “technical” representatives and voila – things worked out just splendidly but my Friday night was gone and I’ll need to wait until next week to get things back where they belong.

Bonnie took our youngest to Corte Madera yesterday afternoon with all the patience in the world – she knew the traffic could be an issue, she knew the crowds could be bothersome, yet the time she can spend with her daughter doing what they want to do is exactly the way she and her mother would have done things …. with ease. Later the ladies returned home. During the interim I made a potato salad and prepared the barbecue baby back ribs for dinner.

I wish I had my wife’s temperament, of course if I did we probably would not be in California … the reason we are here is another story altogether and it deals with the way I handle things, my temperament is not exactly “chilled” but the job will get done, even if it something silly like hooking up a wireless router so the girls can be anywhere on the property with their laptop doing their thing.

It’s the Fourth of July weekend and we have no plans other than to walk across the street, plant our butts in some beach chairs and watch the night sky get lit up in all its’ glory right from the park from where we’re located.

Thank you Lois – thank you for instilling the “what’s really important” element in your daughter’s temperament – believe me, when I tell you it’s been something this family needs.