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Nature vs. Nurture

Posted by in Health: Mental Health  ~  June 24, 2012 02:51:09 PM

What defines a person? Is it his nature, his being that he was designed for or his nurturing, the circumstances and environment he was raised in?

In nature are factors such as zodiac signs (months of birth) and birth signs (year of birth) and the characteristics tagged to the individuals falling under these considerations. Here, the universal elements such as the moons, planets and stars are said to play a role. As early as birth, the universe connects with a person and dictates its role in the world.

Though the idea seems lofty as it still has to be proven by science, it cannot be easily dismissed. Consider the accurate descriptions on the characteristics of the different zodiac signs and birth signs, truly there’s something there even if no concrete research studies are available to defend its credibility. There are even books that can define ones personality based on their exact birth date.

Many argue that such definitions on nature become true because one makes it come true upon reading it. But the high hit rate on accuracy of zodiac signs and birth signs among believers and skeptics alike is enough statistics to prove that nature has a say on a person’s foundation.

In nurture on the other hand are factors driven by the environments one is exposed to. The parents, the family, the neighborhood, the friends, and all the experiences shared with these personalities. In basic philosophy, the family is considered the most simple and important social group as it can define the capacity of its members to coexist with bigger social units. Childrearing is the biggest defining factor.

The social exposures of an individual are used as indicators of his or her moral values, social ethics, and character strength. The way a person was raised and by whom, are often the first things checked when doing background research on credentials. Family conditions are used to tell the moral foundations of an individual. What were the personalities of the parents and what was their relationship like during a person growing years can give away many pressing issues the individual might be dealing with.

The communities one are part of, at home and in school are indicators. What were the cultures is in these areas of ones life are critical. It can influence the practices and habits of a person as it is what he was asked to conform to for many years.

Nature and nurture are truly defining factors. But which ones weigh more is the question. Is what is inherent, as nature dictates, a better basis of what one is or his upbringing?

As one faces adulthood and takes control of his nurturing environment, can he then fight his nature and redefine himself? If he successfully redefines himself by overcoming his flaws in his characteristics, is it sustainable or is he being untrue to his self? Will his true self catch up with him eventually?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it is the proper mix of nature and nurture that matters and not the percent of influence.