Achievement- Nature or Nurture I

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The universe is what I call a beautiful mystery. The true essence of life and the workings of the cosmos/universe seems unfathomable, even as intellectuals work day and night to decipher the mysteries surrounding the world. At best, scientific laws and principles have been able to explain the underlying causes of some material and particulate behaviors. Yet, there are so much more that puzzle the mind. 

Some of the mysteries of life are knotty questions about the nature, purpose, and power of the human mind. Scientists have strived to understand why some people have been able to exhibit surpassing abilities and exceptional qualities. They find it difficult to understand why people can be very physiologically and psychological unalike. For example, it is difficult to understand why men like Beethoven, Mozart, and Schumann excelled in musical composition far beyond the reach of their contemporaries. Was there something special about them? Were they more hard working, or did they possess a natural ability to excel in music? And if they were indeed musical naturals, where did their natural ability come from? 

Just as there are illustrious musicians, there are notable painters, sculptors, philosophers, mathematicians, economists, psychologists, novelists, soldiers, and engineers. Why do some people stand out among their contemporaries? Why don’t we all behave alike? Why do we have to be so different from one another? 

Human beings do not only have different psychological predisposition, but also have different biological make-up. For example, some people are naturally at a greater risk of having diabetes, cancer, or obesity than others. More so, some people also possess a naturally enhanced physical strength, while there are people who are severely skinny and weak. Similarly, some people have more favorable mental abilities than others, which perfectly explains why there are prodigies and there are people of average intelligence. 

Regardless, it is curious that we develop different interests, hobbies, passions, and purposes, although we were all born into this world with zero experience of life. It begs the question as to whether our minds have been shaped by the experiences of life over time, or whether we possess natural brain chemistries which motivate us towards behaving in certain ways. Even two children born of the same parents and nurtured in the same environment can have very different preferences and views of life. While twins may be physically identical, they may not be psychologically identical. The mystery of the existence of natural brain chemistry is as old as the mystery of creation. 

Therefore, we can deduce that two things influence human behaviors: Natural brain chemistry and life experiences. Maybe natural brain chemistry can be understood, but how it came about remains a mystery till date. It is difficult to understand why some toddlers are more overactive than others, and while some children are more receptive to language and learning than others. We do not know why some people are born with psychopathic tendencies, neither do we understand why some people are born with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Some mental disorders have been linked to natural brain-chemistry rather than life experiences. 

It’s difficult to ascertain the more potent source of psychological motivation: natural brain chemistry (nature) or life experiences (nurture). Some people appear to possess the natural tendency to behave in certain ways; for example, Helen Keller’s remarkable accomplishments (a blind and deaf woman who wrote great works and lectured marvelously) is extremely rare, for someone in her condition. Although, some people who have been kicked down have remarkably found their way back up, others stay down. While destructive criticisms bring out the best in some people, they tend to discourage other people. And whereas some people show admirable forbearance and stoicism, others have a hard time doing so. 

The wonders of the human psych are truly a mystery, but we do know that natural brain chemistries exist because studies have shown that many geniuses are born with high intelligent quotients, and psychopaths as well as introverts are born with brains that naturally predisposes them to behave this way. Alcoholism is also shown to have a genetic link, and individuals can have various tolerances for the imbibing of alcohol. Anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a host of other psychological behaviors are largely genetic.