Adonis Diaries

”Nature versus nurture”: Introspection 

Posted on: March 6, 2009

“Nature versus nurture”: Introspection  #58

I am interested in the effects of the dichotomy “nature versus nurture”.

What cause individuals to accede at recognition in social spheres? What is normal behavior? What is meant by being a beneficial member to society? What hobbies and skills keep people happy and alert throughout their life?

The field of “nature versus nurture” should be a scientific specialty but, objectivity set aside, I may state my position based on my individual experience.

What I am is anchored on feeling healthy, though I was not born a healthy person:  I was not supposed to survive.

Mother persisted and after a day of struggle I had my first tit-sucking experience.  I attended school for 3 months when I was almost 5 of age before the terrible illness of Typhus that lasted 4 months, and I had to re-learn walking…  

Within 3 months I had mastered the multiplication tables; thus, I was endowed with some mental potentials; that is a lot of grace already.

I was nurtured in an environment that conveyed a sense of security and warmth in my first critical four years, though my parents were far from feeling in security:  They were robbed four times in less than two years as they were starting to raise a family. May be that is why I could attempt adventures that were not planned?

I could keep faith that I will manage one way or another in critical conditions.

In the summer of 1975, I flew to the USA, my first trip outside my country. I was not even accepted at any university.  I knew no one, had no connections and had no information on the State or universities.

At the end of 1984, I departed for the USA without any planning whatsoever. Both times to escape the rot: I was out of a job or not perceiving any opportunity for a job.

In 1991, I literally ran away to San Francisco after graduation. I had no money; I had no plans, and didn’t have connections.

In 1979, I decided on a foolish scheme which got me in terrible troubles. The consequences of this decision must have affected me deeply, but for years I failed to acknowledge its influence.

What I am not is solely the culprit of consistent disadvantageous nurturing conditions later on: such as in family, schooling programs, society, and environment.  

Living in a religious boarding school for six years, in a new country, and having to learn a new language are not catalysts for normal upbringing.  I tried to learn many skills when it was too late to acquire.

I enrolled in music classes when I was over thirty. I bought a classical guitar and an accordion to prove my incompetence. I could have been successful at many skills and hobbies when it was proper and effective at an early age. What I acquired young I kept at it.

I can admit clearly that my failure is the consequence of my incapacity for long-term planning.

This failure is mainly due to my lack of hunger for anything considered essential by society. Hunger is an acquired quality before the age of four. 

Most of those who have a hunger are successful at acquiring “recognition”, not mainly because of the focused energy toward their targeted hunger but because their hunger is their lightening rod that keeps them focused.

There is nothing wrong with striving for recognition

It is the means employed to destroying many spirits along the way to the target that need to be judged and blamed.

Many marriages fail because the emotional instability of the hungry people takes over and destroy the best stabilizing environment that keep them on track.  The hungry people who manage to salvage marriages are those who wizened up to just wearing the mask of patriarchal attitude.  They know that they are not fooling their closest relatives and friends but that would do for the outsiders, to those who count for nurturing “recognition”.  The saying “No prophet is recognized by his people” means that the mask that ends up identifying us would never fool our community.

I feel helpless starting a business and abhor law regulations.

I could be a flourishing director or manager of an already established institution.

I could have been as successful as many individuals who inherited businesses.

I could have learned to acquire a taste for luxury. I could spend money in profusion when I had it. I enjoy reading abundantly and have been writing lately.

I like to share my reading books and my writings. Who cares reading anymore?  I do.

Someone has to share the work of a few good writers.

My temerity broke the vicious cycles several times but I lacked the tools: Sound behaviors, skills, and capabilities are acquired early on in life. I never despaired.  I lacked the talent to grab good opportunities or retaining potential ones.

I re-invent myself any which way.

I could have turned better. I know from key events in my life that I could have been a successful man. When I was 12, I was transferred to a totally different schooling system. It was a system that emphasized French as the primary language which I had completely forgotten though it was my first language. By the end of the year, I was among the five best students in French among the three other sections. The following two years I was still better than even the French-born students.

When I was 14, the school organized this single ceremony at the end of the year: The entire student body was trained for intricate exercises to be performed in the dark. We carried two lighted colored torches.  I liked these exercises. During summer, I used the two confectioned small sand bags that hold doors, and exercised every day. I thus managed to build up the muscles of my arms and forearms. These parts of my body looked disproportionate with my shriveled body at the time, like Popeye the Spinach man.

When I was 21, I enrolled in a session of Tak Wan Doo, a Korean martial art. Throughout the training I was clumsy and appeared unfit.  Most of the group were more sportive, taller, and better built-in stature and shape. At exam time, it turned out that I was the sole graduate to earn the green belt because I trained at home and had confidence.

I still dream of a change in situation. I am ready to face harsher problems and realities.

Note: We are no different from the other mammalian kinds. Maybe we started with a couple of DNA genomes that differed from most of the other mammals. Most probably, we nurtured these discriminating genomes to warp other genomes into a qualitative difference. It is not our mental agility that sets us apart from other mammals (that would be the external realities), but it is mainly our ability to wear masks and believing that the mask is our identity.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

March 2009
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