Nature or Nurture?

Circumstances don't determine where we can or should go; they merely tell us where to start.

There's something good about growing up in a big family —with five siblings. Being the youngest and the only girl, I've spent most of my childhood close to my four big brothers. We mostly stayed at home playing "war games" in the boys' room. I'd mess up the game when no one would take me in to their "camp". But, father wouldn't tolerate my screaming, so, all four boys get the spanking.

Naturally, or as a consequence, I adapted some boyish antics.

Growing up, I developed a passion for literature and reading lots of them from my older brother, the fourth of the boys. Also, a love of the arts, I got from my eldest brother by stealing his blue pencils and drawing any figure I'd see from food wrappers or calendars. My other two brothers, the second and the third, taught me to play the guitar at seven and the drums at fifteen.

Some might call these innate talents, but, I see them as acquired skills and passions. I could've been a "typical" girl. Collecting dolls, hello kitty, or trying on mother's makeup and dresses. I wasn't acquainted to those things. I would've done such things if it weren't for my brothers' influences. But still, the biggest part of acquiring those passions and skills was that I was so eager to learn what they were doing, too, that I must have annoyed my brothers then. So, they had to teach me anyway. Thus, I made my choices. They would've never taught me anything if I never wanted to be taught. Or if I never saw the need. I was nurtured.

Really, who we are may be because of our circumstances. But who we become is our choice, our own doing. No one is dumb, or lazy, or passionless, or unskilled by nature. It is simply irresponsible to think so. We are not programmed that way. Because we are thinking beings by nature, gifted with free will. Therefore, we are equipped to make good choices —to either be molded by our nature (circumstances) or be nurtured despite our "nature".

Of course, we are always influenced by our circumstances, yet still, we can choose to take the influence or not. Because circumstances cannot make the choices for us. We can be guided by them but never coerced to become what we have not chosen to be.

So, don't wait for your circumstances to change so you can be better than you are. Instead, be your best because of your circumstances now. And never give up.
“I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.” ~ James Rhinehart


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