Lao Tzu Versus Confucius

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12561

Are you a "doer" or a "whatever-er"? "Doers" try to change things for what they think is better, whereas "whatever-ers" just slide through life. Learn about two ancient philosophers from both camps!


World Cultures

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


It is natural to try to control situations, to work hard to make things better and better. When, though, is it time to just let go?

Some people like to control things.

They like to feel that they are in charge and can manage a situation. Those people are often highly organized, keep a day-planner, or make notes on their calendar. Then there are those who are more laid back; they like to take things as they come. They are perfectly happy to let other people run the show. They may believe that "fate" is in charge, and that we humans can plan and plan, but things will happen as they are “supposed to happen.”

You may hear some people talking about “Alpha” or “Type-A” personalities. The A-type personality is the kind of person who likes to take control of the situation. In contrast, the Type-B personality is the kind of person who likes to relax a little bit more and let "fate" or other people take charge.

  • Which type are you more like?

Write a short response in your journal and explain why you think so. Then, use the short online quiz linked below to see which type you may be more like. When you complete the quiz, view your score and check the key at the bottom of the page. If your score is closer to 35, then you are more of a Type-B personality. If your score is closer to 380, then you may have a Type-A personality.

Take the quiz, Personality Type A/B, courtesy of Professor Paula Goolkasian at University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

When you are done, reflect on the following questions and record your responses in your journal:

  • Which personality type is it better to be in your opinion? What makes you think so?
  • How do you feel about your personality type?
  • Do you think it’s possible to change your personality type? Why or why not?

For many centuries, people have been thinking about just how much of the world we can or should control.

In the Got It? section, gather information about two great thinkers of Ancient China who debated this very issue!

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.