Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nature vs nurture

Nature vs nurture. The timeless debate on whether it is the environment you are raised in or your basic make up, your genes, that determines the person you are. Your intelligence, personality, your emotional and social behavior, all of these fall into play in this age old discussion. I know why I look like my mother, it’s genetic. But why do I act just like my mother? Is that also because of genetics? Or Did I come to have this sparkling personality after years of watching her? A monkey see, monkey do type of scenario.   

Some, including the philosopher Plato, believe that certain things just come naturally to us. They are inborn regardless of our influences and environment. This is the nature theory. So if I were to go along with this way of thinking, the characteristics I share with my mom, such as our strong-willed and assertive personality, are not because this is how I was taught to be, but rather how I was born to be. Whether I was raised by my family or a family of timid people, I would still be me. I would still have my same authoritative and sometimes controlling personality regardless, because, to quote Lady Gaga, “Baby, I was born this way.”

The nurture argument follows the “blank slate” train of thought, or tabula rasa, meaning that the individual is born with a fresh mind. No built in apps, so to say. What you are taught, the conditions you are raised in, even the little things you observe in others, these are all factors that make up who you are. Nurture believers would say that the reason I passive aggressively tap my foot when I am impatient is from years of watching that same behavior in my mother. That if I had been brought up by the aforementioned timid family, the foot tapping would probably not be an action I would have witnessed, therefore, not something I would find myself doing.

My personal belief is that it is actually both nature and nurture that make us who we are. A little from column A, and a little from column B. Think about it, if you took a lion cub and raised him like you would a common house cat it may act like other house cats, but inside, he is still a lion, and at times, will act like a lion. I’m just sayin’.

No comments:

Post a Comment