Nature and Nurture


I’ve found that there is often an extreme view taken by people about nature vs. nurture. Many people act as if only one is true, even when they verbally acknowledge that both play a role. It is as if they have convinced themselves that the other part is so insignificant, that it takes an almost insurmountable effort to overcome it.

I see this often weighing in on the nature side as an excuse, when someone doesn’t really want to do something, like dieting or exercise. On the other hand, there are those that say things like, you can achieve anything if you try hard enough! Yeah, right.

So, I don’t care that I’m built compact and heavy. It does me well for judo. Not so well for marathons or basketball. It doesn’t matter. I do what I enjoy and though I may need to put more effort in than others, in the end I’m competing against myself, not them.

I also don’t think that there is any difference here for mental or social traits. My family has no predisposition to depression. I had a good upbringing. I always found it easy to meet new friends and adjust to new cultures. Yet, I still fell in to a lifestyle trap that led me to seriously think that suicide was the best solution for everyone.
I’m pretty sure that I’m recovering easier from it than some, but without these lifestyle changes and without this conscious recognition of what is going on in my mind, I might not be alive today.

So although people might first notice my muscles and realize that I train hard and regularly, they might not realize that my calmness and lightness dealing with problems is also through hard training. They probably don’t think that my excitement for life and openness for new experiences and ideas comes from thorough introspection and acceptance that I am at one with the world as well as being an independent individual. It’s a shame that the physical is so much more easily recognizable because the amount of nurture given to our psyches from ourselves, our family and our peers probably far exceeds that given to our bodies.

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