I noticed that Scott’s been a little obsessed with forebears, progeny, and such. See the following challenges on the Dailypost:
I took some time to mull these matters over in light of many events happening around me. I thought of my parents’ generation. My mother came from a large family, by any standard. They were 9 siblings. Although they all came from the same womb, I can safely say, they are not all alike. And this is even if some of them lived close together, been in business together, raised their children together, and moved in the same social circle.
We often wonder which exerts more influence over what people become? Nature versus nurture, they often say. A child born with a certain intelligence and temperament is raised in a certain environment under the guidance of certain parental figures. Voila! A new person emerges.
One would think that siblings, having been raised in the same household, would embrace the values and principles of their progenitors. And if they were schooled similarly, as in attended the same religiously oriented schools, and cared for by the same caregivers, even, they’d be quite similar, right? It turns out that this does not translate to the seemingly obvious conclusion.
There are quite a few variables to consider: One is the ability of the parental figure(s) to communicate their values whether verbally, by modelling, or in their way of handling challenges as they arise. In all these cases, it takes for the parental figure(s) to be not just physically present but to also be focused. The other variable is the ability of the siblings individually to absorb, analyze, adapt, embrace, reject, defy or ignore the communicated values. This will vary among siblings.
I have learned in a recent class I attended, that there are what you call fixed learners and growth learners. Or learners and non-learners. Then there is the issue of intelligence. A lot of people go through life believing that they are born with a certain intelligence that is fixed. They’re either smart or dumb and they have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Well, intelligence is not only elastic and resilient. It never stops to develop in individuals who don’t give up on learning. One’s IQ (Intelligence Quotient, a sad measure of intelligence) is never static.
It is interesting how within a family, one member can be ultra-religious and another an atheist. Or one can be a lying, cheating, amoral scum while another can be an wise and benevolent upstanding member of society. How could they have come from the same household?
As you have probably gleaned, I have a large extended family. We are all connected by some common forebears. With some, I’d like to think that the link starts and ends there. With others, we continue to celebrate our relatedness.