Harmony is generally perceived as a pleasant sensation. In nature, society, music, just to name a few domains. Arguably, there aren’t many domains where harmony isn’t perceived as pleasant. Why do we deliberately steer away from harmony so often?
Collectivism, for one, contributes to societal harmony. “Hofstede’s cultural dimensions” model points out that Asian countries generally score higher on collectivism than European countries and the United States. Consequently, making it easier for Asian countries to get a grip on a pandemic. Supposedly due to the harmonic attunement of its citizens, among others. Highly individualistic cultures, on the other hand, appear to have a more challenging time.
Culture is like a state of mind, achieved as a side effect from being a product of one’s environment. We can study cultures. We can empathize with them, but it’s hard to learn to behave in a specific cultural way. Harmony is a mentality, influenced by culture.