Friday, 7 November 2008

Family Tree

The old nature and nurture question has been brewing in my mind today.

I have many different friends, all with different views on life, ways to build a home and raise their family. They have different ideas on faith, how we got here and where we're going. I love to get a glimpse into their lives and see who they are and what they are becoming. Most of all I love to see the gentle evolution of self. As they learn and grow and read and ponder, each one is developing new ideas to incorporate into how they spend each day of this life they have been given.

I see in them qualities I admire. I see the battles I fight daily that they seem to have already won. I see concepts they are grasping and planting deep within, and often wish I had the same root.

I see homes that are fun, homes that are peaceful, homes that are creative, homes that are educational, homes that are always busy and homes that retreat into family life. Of course most of them are balanced, but each family has a particular characteristic that emerges as a sort of defining element. I wonder how my family is seen, not out of fear of being judged or of not measuring up, but more out of curiosity and clarity. Amid my whirlwind, what is rising to the surface? I find it impossible to wade through the chaos to look in from the outside and see.

Are nature (parental genetic code) and nurture (parental influence) the only influences? Both of these have a large parental aspect, which seems to leave out both individual personality and evolving growth. Can I ever integrate a new quality that I see in another friend or family? Or are the influencing factors of nature and nurture simply too strong to ever accommodate a more drastic change of direction? Will I only ever be able to achieve an imitation of the deep-seeded natural characteristics I admire?

Can I ever have a home with more peace, with a family of first-born, out-going, natural-born leaders? Or am I fighting a losing battle, and should simply embrace the chaos and energy and spend my time channeling it?

How much do we really change from our long family line? If history doesn't repeat itself, I've certainly heard that it rhymes. Will I one day meet a family in my ancestry who seems just like a reflection in a mirror?

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