Nature vs. Nurture

I have always wondered what part of me is natural and what part of me is taught. I believe it’s a little of column A and a little of column B. There are many examples of twins growing up separate and having similar traits, hair styles, spouses, you name it, they just seem to have it in them to walk the same path, fight the same fight. It’s a strange idea to think that our lives are predestined and that we don’t choose our own path, that life chooses for us, I disagree with this. I think we are like water, we choose the path of least resistance biologically, and when push comes to shove we do what is comfortable. If we are cut from the same cloth then we will make similar comfortable decisions. Simple as that. I think most of who we become is a mixture of our choices, instincts and environment.

I was having a chat with a client/friend of mine about coaching. He coaches soccer and he said that when he scouts players he looks for certain traits and that in the end it comes down to confidence and environment. I thought about that and it reminded me of my last blog, about making your decisions with conviction and sticking to it. You have to be bold, making your decisions with more than a water like easiness and cut across the grain, do what is best for you not what is easiest. This brings me back to my experience with nature vs. nurture.

I was adopted, I love my family and am so lucky to have them. I found my biological family when I was 27. I have known them now for over ten years. I have gotten to know them and fall in love with them. My biological mother and father stayed together and had two more children so I have a full brother and sister. I can see in them similar movements and character traits. It’s the weirdest thing. For example my biological father was a printer, I am a graphic designer, we work in the same industry. My biological brother has an interest in graphic design and film making, two of my passions, this is all before I met them. From sitting the same way to similar tastes and twitches my brother and I have definitely been moulded from the same genes. It is kind of spooky.

But on the flip side I am so much like my adopted family that it makes me smile just thinking about it. My father is the nicest man that I have ever met and I have always been that kind of man, I can’t be anything else. My mother is strong and confident and this is also a huge part of who I am as well. My sister is caring and loves kids, another big part of my personality. I became who I am because of them, mixed with a little of what I’m made of.

I know friends that grew up a certain way, whether it be poor, neglected, whatever it starts you on a certain path. Just remember, you choose your own path, so if your life isn’t where you want it to be, don’t blame your parents, and if it is exactly where you want it to be, then thank your parents too, either way you make your own mistakes or successes. As a parent I now understand that I can’t do things for my daughter, I have to just guide her in the right direction, she makes her own mistakes or triumphs. Just like my parents did for me. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, trust me, but whether they are the family I grew up with, biologicals or in-laws, I know that they are looking out for me and my loved ones, and where their teaching leaves off, my genetic instincts take over.

Bad kids become bad adults and bad kids come from bad parents, it all trickles down. Teach your kids well. Give them a reason to make good decisions and then let the good part of the genetic material you gave them take over from there. Whether it’s nature or nurture, between the two sides of the coin, they will work it out in the end.

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