Nature vs Nurture


There is a debate that has been going on forever* – Nature vs. Nurture. The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual’s innate qualities (“nature,” i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences (“nurture,” i.e. empiricism or behaviorism) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits**

What this basically translates to is this one question: How much ‘us’ comes from how we are raised? And can we innately be different from who we have been raised to be? (ok.. I know that’s 2 questions, but I’m at a rant stage right now)

I have never been a rebel. I was raised a good girl, innocent in the ways of the world up to the brink of stupidity. Circumstances and encouragement made me independent. Confidence came naturally thanks to the public exposure I got in school. To the untrained eye, I am your average stuck-up-pain-in-the-ass-good-girl-who-does-everything-right- as-per-social-norm female. But on a closer look, you will see the subtle madness; the need to be different, even at the risk of self-destruction, maybe even for the want of self-destruction. Oh no, no! It’s not an in-your-face difference. You won’t see me sporting one look that begs to be noticed as the clichéd rebel. I would ideally like to disappoint in a classier manner, if I could get the social upbringing out of the picture.

My thoughts stray to the more unacceptable:

  1. What if I wrote a pornographic post here?
  2. What if I gave my very honest opinion on everyone on my very public blog?
  3. What if I shattered that ‘goody-two-shoes’, kind, “nice” image once and for all?
  4. What if I let the latent hate in me, kept in such strict check for so long run wild and free?
  5. What if I became ‘free’ in the very essence of that word? Emotionally, Relationship-wise, Social norm-wise, physical-nature wise?

I have no reason to be nasty, except- off late ‘the want’ to be. I have no reason to get into sticky situations, except-off late ‘the want’ to be. And I have no reason to frustrate, except that I think its super fun.

Can I honestly say that the selfish streak in me has surfaced only now? Yes. Is it that when I was taken away from the doctored environment, that my true nature won over nurture? Probably. So maybe it is only now that I am getting to know myself. And maybe in another circumstance, I would have been the real-me: unafraid, untamed and unruly.

Alas! Even as I wind up this post, I know that Nurture will win over Nature. Why? Because my parents have raised me up as a good, socially acceptable and accepted girl. And though usually, I would like to dishonor that label – I believe they deserve much better than that. The constant push and pull of ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘wanting to do the generally wrong thing in the most fantastic manner’ is making me unpredictable at best and well, maybe eccentric, at worst. Maybe in a week, month, year, or years… Nature will finally win over Nurture and my true colours will emerge, scandalous and unchecked.

Till then, I write instead of doing. I think about the game instead of playing. And I conform instead of confirming everyone’s worst nightmare.

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