Nature v Nurture

This place disgust me. These people are horrible. The music is too loud. These people find everything hilarious (said to people being pushed around on a skateboard – which did look very fun). London is too busy a space. 

And on and on he went. His pessimistic views grinding me down. My lips sore from the tight, fixed smile I would show at each of his statements. My heart growing wary, my mind bored. My eyes glancing round for anyone else I knew, anyone at all, who I could escape to.

People have genuine hardships in life, I do not wish to trivialise this mans hardships. Graduating with a 1st class degree from a university employers don’t seem to acknowledge. Then completing a Masters course at a more reputable place, to still be ignored. Struggling to start his career and having to apply for a job he is very much overqualified for. All this with many other struggles – financial, disabilities, academic. No, I do not trivialise his hardships.

I just wonder about the various outlooks people can hold. The glass full and glass empty kind of people. I am definitely the former. Always trying to find the lessons in hardship, trusting that this is for the best – and leaving everything to the best planner of them all.

But why am I like this? Some characteristics we are born with. Others we gain due to our interactions. Nature and nurture. Nature: my academic ability that has allowed me to achieve the grades at the university I did. But it is also nurture: my mum’s constant positive outlooks and unfaltering faith that pushed me to even dream. It is the very strong network of friends who are, on the most part, positive and encouraging, that allows me to make mistakes but see the lessons in them. I believe both play an important role, but lean more towards nurture.

I asked him, “why are you always so pessimistic?” He replied, “it’s what pushed me to achieve a 1st.”

Interesting, how he used his negative attitude to achieve, and me my positive attitude.

Speaking to him further I learnt about how unsupportive his parents are, how he grew up with few friends. I wonder if things would have been different, had he the support I often take for granted.

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. – Stephen Covery

This post is the start of my weekly Fine Fridays – a time when I will reflect on the things I am grateful for. Fine – as in beautiful, hot. Friday is the perfect day for this: jummah & it’s the start of the weekend. This is a task set by Blogging 101.