Nature Vs. Nurture


One evening, my roommate and I were talking about children and whether adult’s comments to them on their natural abilities affect the success or development in their personalities. We concluded that it does affect it, so then the question became, how does it affect their thought process.

For me, I began to have an interest in photography and pursued it independantly of what people thought my abilities or talents were as a young person. As I became better at photographing people and things, friends and family encouraged me and admired my work. So in this instance, photography was more of a “nature” thing and became a “nurture.”

A “nurture” example in my life is in theater. Acting was always something I wanted to be really good at but was very intimidated by it. A type of “reverse-nurture” experence shaped my perceived abilities. I would notice other talented kids being commended for a job well done and their talents but knew I wasn’t “as good” based on people’s reactions to my work. I know that I am not a natural performer but it has also caused me to shy away from pursuing acting in general.

I know I shouldn’t base my acting (or photographing) worth by what other people think but it is difficult not to. Artistically, I want to create something that people will like, appreciate and enjoy. If I sense that people don’t, then I would feel bad and somewhat worthless. I often think about this whenever I hear people say, “Follow Your Dreams,” etc. I’m a bit of a pessimist but I also don’t think that all dreams should be followed if there isn’t substantial evidence for the dream.

Thoughts? What are some nature vs. nurture experiences that have shaped your life?


2 thoughts on “Nature Vs. Nurture

  1. I believe in a little of both, like you said. There are some things we have innate abilities for, but it’s amazing what a little push in the right direction can do. I never thought I’d go to law school but my analytical skills coupled with my mother’s strong tendency to nurture me to that end won out in the end!


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