Topic #291: What % of who and what you are is determined by genetics vs your own choices?

Topic #291: What % of who and what you are is determined by genetics vs your own choices? Is it 50/50 or more or less of one? Or should there be three numbers: your genetics, how you were raised, and your own choices (33/33/33 or 10/40/50).

I haven’t been keeping up with the specific topics offered on the Post a Day site but this question triggered some thoughts for me to share.  I think that there should be three numbers in the percentile split of determinants for ‘who and what we are’.  In this day and age, the intellect is bombarded by information which makes the third criteria as most definitely…choice.  Long gone are the days when genetics alone should bear the brunt of blame or celebration for a person’s make up. So, too, are defunct the debate and answers to the nature versus nurture question. That the psychological makeup of a person, ‘the who that you are’ essentially, is affected by both genetics and how one was raised has well documented empirical proof.  The new kid on the block is the fact that now this is common knowledge through education.  And, with knowledge comes choice.  The knowledge that irrational behaviour likely comes from experiential influences creates the opportunity to make the choice to change.  A glaring example would be prejudice and hatred for ethnic and racial differences which is a learned response…no one is born with that. Being enlightened to the realization that people are equal, regardless of ethnicity, a person is capable of choosing to change to a stance of tolerance and acceptance. It is, of course, more difficult for those whose nurturing has created deeply ingrained and unquestioned beliefs. However, it is not impossible. Therefore a choice can still be made to change. Stepping away from the prejudicial issue, there are those who are deeply traumatized during their formative years.  The imprinted damage is so deeply entrenched in the person’s self identity that possibly awareness of it is vague or inaccessible.  Still, the choice to change exists. The ratios of genetics to nurturing to choices will vary not only from individual to individual but will also vary at different times in each person’s life because of the choice factor.  The choice factor is a bit of a wild card which can go either way…to the detriment or betterment of the individual.  It’s existence, and its impact on who and what you are, is very real.

“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”

–George Eliot


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