I’ve just read Divergent – a book I actually saw the film trailer for a couple of weeks ago. I bought it for a long train journey, and quite enjoyed it; although it’s not particularly well written, it’s got some interesting ideas.
People are divided into five factions, based on their personality traits. There are those who value honesty most of all, then courage, intelligence, kindness, and selflessness. But some don’t fit into these categories so neatly, and that’s where the fun starts.
It got me thinking about which faction I would be in, if I lived in that world, and maybe even more difficult to decide, which one I think has its priorities right. Of course they’re all good traits and I aspire to have them all, but where would I actually fit?
I like to think it would be Dauntless – the faction that honours courage above all else. The one I would like to be more like is probably Amity (kindness) or Abnegation (selflessness). The book itself has an interesting perspective on this; that in many cases, selflessness and courage are nearly interchangeable. We can be at our bravest when we are thinking of others and not ourselves. Forgetting the self can help us to act, even when we are scared.