Philosophical Thought: What Kind of People

A little while ago, somebody asked me a question, that required deep philosophical thought.

“There’s two types of people in this world. What would you say the two categories are?” At first face, this seems like a very straight forward answer. But that’s the thing – there’s so many responses that could adequately answer this question. What kind of people are there in the world?

Of course, I was intrigued. Now, I ask everyone I meet to answer this question, because I am so interested at how else this question could be evaluated. For me, the two types of people in this world are those who live to learn, and those who learn to live. Maybe it’s because I’m extremely ambitious and can’t think of anything better than having my head stuck in a book, but I have always been able to mentally categorise people into these two different groups. Throughout school, there were always the kids who hated learning, and only learned the minimum to get them through school and out the other side. On the contrary, there were the kids, like myself, that loved learning. I enjoyed school, I wanted to do well, and I loved learning all sorts of things – even those out of my school curriculum. Anything I don’t know, I Google. I have never known more of a clear distinction between people, (other than the obvious ones like gender).

After giving my answer some thought – I realised that this probably isn’t as obvious to everyone as it is to me. Since being more self-aware, I have come to realise the importance in the opinion of others, and so I wanted to share this with other people to see what their first distinction was. I ask friends, family, total strangers I meet in the street, and have had an array of mixed responses. After pondering on this thought for some time, I’m unsure if there is actually a right or wrong answer, or whether this question was created by somebody who just wished to put a philosophical thought out there at arms length, and see who bit.


So, what did people say?

One of my favourite responses was ‘the givers and the takers’. The person that responded this way said they have always been able to notice whether a person was a giver or a taker in life. By this, they meant whether an individual strives to give something back throughout life, through volunteering, charity work, or being there for people at their times of need. The contrast to this, of course, is a person who is greedy and arrogant, and who will take from people all the time but never offer the same help in return. I found this to be a very interesting response, and actually a very accurate one. Some people are forgiving and accepting, and others are greedy and arrogant. As soon as this was pointed out, it seemed far more obvious to me.

Another response I received was ‘those who love things and those who love people’. This answer really spoke to me, because as soon as I heard it I could think of people in my life that fit these 2 different categories. You see all the time on social media, people are starting to love and care for their possessions far more than they love and care for the actual people around them. Compassion and empathy is lost, and people’s priorities are put in the wrong places. It’s not unheard of to hear somebody say “Oh, I couldn’t live without my phone!”, but how often do you hear somebody say the same thing about someone important to them? It’s definitely far fewer. However, there are still a sacred few who love people more; who believe that true love and compassion are far more significant in our everyday lives than the products that we ‘can’t live without’. People do still exist that burn with emotion for others from the inside out. I feel as though this was a fab answer, as it was one that really made me think.

After feeling like there was no other possible answers, I got a final answer from somebody very close to me. For them, the two different kinds of people in this world are ‘the thinkers and the do-ers’. To this person, the main distinction between all people in the world are those that think and ponder on things, want and wish and dream, and those who just get on with life, and do things without too much preparation. Again, this all seemed so clear once hearing it so plainly. I think this is similar to the concept of dreamers and realists, some people are happy to have their head in the clouds, whilst others are only happy when they’re being active, and are practically achieving things.


It’s funny really, how we are so easily able to put the whole world into just two categories. Well, maybe not easily, but it’s interesting to see how different people come up with totally different answers. This topic really intrigues me! If you would put the world into two different groups, how would you place them? Please comment below!


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