My “Secret Subject” is:
Do you think people are born with their personality/character traits, or do they acquire them?It was submitted by: Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom
This is such an interesting subject. I don't have a cut and dry answer. This is a place with lots of gray areas for me. I definitely think a lot of who we are, is because of our genetics. I also believe a lot of who we are is based on how we are raised, and the things we go through.
I grew up thousands of miles away from my mother, and yet I share some of the same character traits. I believe they exist within me, thanks to the genes my mom passed onto me. There are other parts of my character, that I genuinely feel exist within me, simply because of my life experiences.
I feel like I am the person I am today, not just because of who my parents are, though that obviously plays a part in it, but because of who I've met, and what I have experienced. Everyone who has been a part of my life, has left their mark on my life. Some for the good, and some for the bad. Either way, these relationships, no matter how significant or insignificant, have helped create the person I am today.
I genuinely feel, that human beings are not born with hate inside of them. I feel that hate forms based on experiences and teachings. Racism is a perfect example. I do not think anyone is born with an inherited racism gene. I feel that racists become racist based on their experiences. I think the same can be said for manners. If we are taught proper manners, we can be polite individuals. If someone isn't taught manners, obviously they will lack in politeness. I also think that this can be guided by our genes. Maybe you aren't taught manners, but eventually, you will experience proper manners, and learn what is polite. Then, if you have no genetic predisposition to be a rude person, you should easily be able to pick up the good manners. However, if you inherited the rude genes, you probably would not care about politeness and good manners.
I hope that makes sense. I guess I am saying that I feel both, your genetics and your experiences, form your personality and character. I don't know if either one has a bigger impact, but if I had to choose one that did, I would choose experiences. I think many people often change a great deal after they move out of their parent's home. I know part of it is simply the aging process. I think a big part is also the experiences they go through.
I know people who grew up with one political affiliation (the same as their parents), but after living away from their parents, their affiliation changed. Yes, they grew up, but also they were away from the constant influence of their parents. They had time to experience and learn things, and form their own opinions. The same can be said about religious affiliations.
At the end of the day, I also think we can overcome heredity. I know people who are like their parents, in negative ways, but they are so motivated to be better/different, they overcome genetics. A good example would be physical fitness. Someone very close to me struggled with their weight, just as their entire family does, but they are one of the most fit people I know. Not because they are naturally fit, but because they work very hard to be fit. They make healthy choices, and work out with determination and dedication. So, yes, I think even some hereditary traits can be overcome, with enough determination.
I am sorry this is such a jumbled mess. I just have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I hope you can understand my basic opinion. If not, feel free to ask for clarification.
What about you?! Do you think your personality/character is hereditary? Acquired? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the subject.
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