UNITED STATES—Nature vs. nurture it is a debate I first heard about while studying psychology in college. It is a fun conversation and engaging one to say the least. Nature means genetics play a role in your personality and who you become. Nature states the environment that you live in determines your personality and who you become. I am a big advocate that nature and nurture both collide to form an individual’s personality and their goals they aim to accomplish in life.

I think my personality is a mix of both of my parents, but also my environment. I have no qualms sharing a bit about my experience growing up and the various things I encountered. If I was supposed to be a product of my environment I would be dealing drugs, in the streets or worse because I saw that a lot growing up in my neighborhood and from family members.

Genetics alone should have screamed that being a drug dealer to peddling drugs or involved in street violence should have been part of my DNA. Guess what? I don’t believe you have to be a product of your environment and what you’re exposed to. I saw things I wish I’d never seen or endured as a child, a youngster and a teen, as a result it was my mission to be the first in my family to go to college.

Not only did I go to college, but I graduated with honors from a Big Ten university with a degree in psychology of all majors. Who would have ever guessed that because I never understood the fascination with psychology, while in high school, but in college you’re exposed to so much more and it just hooks you in an odd way! Based on this debate I should be an alcoholic because just about everyone on both my mother and father’s side of family are heavy drinkers. I am not, neither is my sister people.

So that is another testament that we as individuals have more control over our fates. We can succumb to the things around us, embrace them to a degree, or completely fight against them and blaze our own path. I think my focus has always been to be a trailblazer when it comes to genetics. I will determine what best suits me in my personal and professional career. There are people who are easily swayed in the nature vs. nurture debate.

They see what surrounds them as easy and as a result that is the path they follow, I do believe a lot of people love nature because we can blame certain things we endure as a direct result of our biological makeup, i.e. the drinking, the athletic abilities and other gifts that they we may or may not possess.

The nurture debate makes it clear the environment that one is exposed to could have a massive impact on their upbringing and behavior. I do believe nurture can have a much heavier impact on a person as they develop, but you have the ability to resist those temptations that surround, especially the negative ones that can be quite strong to say the least.

I think when both nature and nurture clash it opens our eyes to our actual potential and the path they we want to take when it comes to life versus settling for what we think is best based on how people perceive us from our biological connections and environmental links.

Written By Jason Jones